When I direct, I search for art, music, images, or people that can serve as reference points for the piece itself. And though I've been building small libraries for each production, I've fallen in love with lots of country music I'm sure the ladies at Truvy's hair salon would have listened to.
The play's title, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, suggests a balance of strength and grace, beauty and obstinacy, endurance and vulnerability. I looked to women like Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Dolly Parton for lots of inspiration.
Even today, watching their performances on television, you can see them with perfectly coiffed hair and beautiful dresses, while they air out their dirty laundry in song.
It's almost as if Loretta's tight dress is saying, "Bless his heart", as she belts out "Fist City", a place she is happy to send any woman who wants to take her man.
STEEL MAGNOLIAS is more than just a beautiful story- it's about women who have to be stronger than men and are expected to behave as ladies. Through the lens of Truvy's hair salon, we're able to see six women when they are safe and free to speak the truths of their own lives.