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- BY ROBERT HARLING
- Directed by Valerie Planche
All the ladies who are “anybody” come to gossip and have their hair done by Truvy in her Chinquapin, Louisiana salon. Sharing their stories, laughs and tears, Steel Magnolias is the much-loved hit play featuring six amazing women who draw upon their strength and love to meet the challenges of life. Part comedy of manners, part heartfelt tearjerker, and featuring non-stop banter and wisecracks, this play about friendship, community, and the power of the human spirit is what we all need right now.
- Director VALERIE PLANCHE
- Assistant Director LENNETTE RANDALL
- Set, Lighting & Projection Design BETH KATES
- Costume Design, Assistant Set Design SARAH UWADIAE
- Sound Design & Composition ALLISON LYNCH
- Assistant Set Design JENNIFER LEE ARSENAULT
- Voice & Dialect Coach JANE MACFARLANE
- Stage Manager EMMA BRAGER
- Assistant Stage Manager CARISSA SAMS
- Apprentice Stage Manager JENNIFER YEUNG
- Cast PATRICIA DARBASIE, NORMA LEWIS, ALLISON LYNCH, KATELYN MORISHITA, LAURA PARKEN, DONNON ROOT
Cast and Creative Team
(she/her) THEATRE CALGARY DEBUT. Pat is an Edmonton-based actor and is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and MFA Directing programs. She is a two-time Sterling award winner, and was last seen onstage at the Citadel Theatre in Shakespeare in Love and A Christmas Carol, Atlas Theatre’s Going to St. Ives, and Teatro la Quindicina’s The Finest of Strangers. During 2020, Pat was lucky to be working - first with Catalyst Theatre on Until the Next Breath and a co-production with Northern Light and Workshop West of Here There Be Night - an outdoor theatrical experience. In 2021, Pat was part of a filmed Something Unspoken with Northern Light Theatre and she has been busy directing.
FOR THEATRE CALGARY: To Kill a Mockingbird. Norma has been in the performing arts in Calgary for over 20 years working with various theatre companies. She is the co-founder of 8Rojo, a unique collaborative company developing innovative work, and over the last sixteen years she has produced, co-created, and acted in several original creations (After, Gretchen’s Nightmare, The Lost Hours, Neruda Nude, and Macula). She has had the privilege of performing internationally in their many productions in such places as London, Taipei, Stockholm, Prague, and Mexico City. Norma has also worked with Dandi Productions in The Twins and the Monster in affiliation with several philharmonic companies, performing in numerous cities across Canada and the United States for family audiences. Norma’s passion is storytelling, in which she continues to do extensive work through writing, voice, mask, and dance. Norma is thrilled to return to Theatre Calgary’s stage, having previously performed as Helen Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Sound Designer/Composer – A Christmas Carol (2019-21), The Scarlet Letter; As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare by the Bow 2013), Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare on the Go); Music Director – A Christmas Carol (2016-18); Actor – A Christmas Carol (2011-2019), The Secret Garden, Dear Johnny Deere, One Man, Two Guvnors. Allison has appeared on most of Calgary’s stages either onstage as an actor or behind the scenes as a composer/sound-designer/music director (and sometimes all simultaneously). Allison was the recipient of three Betty Mitchell Awards for acting (Romeo & Juliet - The Shakespeare Company/Hit & Myth, Ash Rizin’- ATP, Twisted- Forte) and one for composing (The Scarlet Letter, Theatre Calgary), as well as the 2020 Critic's Choice Award for Outstanding Design for her score for The Ministry of Grace (The Belfry) at the Greater Victoria Regional Theatre Awards. You may have seen her outside Alberta onstage at the NAC, The Grand, Rainbow Stage, Persephone, The Arts Club, The Drayton Festival, The Belfry or The Chemainus Theatre Festival, and as far abroad as Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra. You can find her debut album Skin & Flame on all streaming platforms.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Billy Elliot the Musical. Katelyn is excited to be working with Theatre Calgary, and is over the moon to be able to create and bring stories to audiences again. Select acting credits include: Murder In The Studio (Vertigo Theatre); Never Ending Story, Matilda the Musical, Curious George the Musical (StoryBook Theatre); Canada the Musical, Legends (Carter Ryan Productions); Bare: A Pop Opera (The Honest Collective); Rudolph (Birnton Theatricals). Select directing credits include: Scattered the Musical – Director (SideNote Theatre), The Shift – Assistant Director (One Act Play Festival), Junior Claus the Musical – Assistant Director (StoryBook Theatre), The French Kiss Off – Assistant Director (Confederation Theatre). Katelyn is beyond grateful for her family and friends for their love and support and would like to thank all those involved in this production and in the theatre community for bringing theatre back.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: To Kill a Mockingbird, Making Brownies Like We Used To, Golden Girls. Laura is delighted to be back at Theatre Calgary with this amazing group of women. Born and bred in Calgary, she has performed locally and nationally for over 30 years. Laura has worked with most local theatre companies including Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Theatre Junction, Sage Theatre, Handsome Alice, and One Yellow Rabbit as well as creating and producing her own work independently. Laura is honoured to have twice been the recipient of a Betty Mitchell Award for acting.
(she/her) THEATRE CALGARY DEBUT. Donnon is a Calgary-based artist who received her training from Central Memorial's Performing Visual Arts Program, taking their courses on Dance and Theatre Arts. She has performed in local work such as: Hair The Musical, Hear Our Song Cabaret (BrownCow Collective); Bring It On (StoryBook Theatre); Treasure Island, Oliver The Musical (CMHS). Donnon makes her professional debut as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, and she couldn't be more thrilled. When not performing, you can currently catch her watching The Woman In The House Across The Street From the Woman In the Window, and eating an assortment of junk food. Donnon would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her these past couple of months, and is dedicating her performance to her grandmother who has recently passed.
(she/her/elle) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Director – Bad Jews, Skylight. Originally from Montreal, Valerie is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has an MFA from the University of Alberta. She is an award-winning actor, director and instructor with over 30 plus years’ experience on stage and in film and television. As an actor, Valerie has performed across Canada and in the US, garnering an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award in Edmonton and Betty Mitchell Awards and nominations in Calgary. As a director selected credits include Constellations for Alberta Theatre Projects, Arden of Faversham for the Birmingham Conservatory in Stratford, Honour Beat by Tara Beagan for The Grand Theatre, Canadian Premiers such as Meg Braem’s Blood: A Scientific Romance, Lynn Nottage’s Ruined for Ellipsis Tree Collective, and Edward Albee’s Homelife for Aboriginal Arts, as well as many others. Her productions of Thy Neighbor’s Wife by Tara Beagan garnered a Betty Mitchell Award (nomination-Best Production). The Arts Club/Citadel Theatre production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat in 2018/19 garnered a Sterling nomination (Best Production). In 2019 Valerie was awarded the Flare Creativity Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, Theatre Alberta awarded her the Michelle Dias Award in 2018. In 2015 she was awarded the Gina Wilkinson Prize from the Shaw Festival, and the Alberta Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Alberta in 2014.
(she/her/zee) FOR THEATRE CALGARY (Actor): Da Kink in my Hair, The Crucible, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in the Park 2013). Recent Directing Credits: Duty - Brighton and Camden Fringe Festivals; Voices of Sierra Leone UK Young Company. Lennette recently returned from completing her masters training in Classical Acting at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She is delighted to be back in her artistic home and actively pursuing her first loves of creating and directing. She is also the managing director of LeRa Entertainment Services Limited. Lennette is a graduate of Rosebud School of the Arts and a recipient of the Stephen Hair Emerging Actor Award (2014) and the Fight Directors of Canada (FDC) Jacie Levinson Memorial Award (2017).
(she/her) Beth is an award-winning designer whose work has been seen around the world for over 30 years. She co-created and directed 'Bury The Wren', a Virtual Reality / Live performance, and is currently leading a VR Performance residency at Canadian Stage, Blyth Festival’s Young Company in VR, and co-curating the ‘Multiple Realities’ section of World Stage Design 2022 to be held in Calgary. A charter member of ADC IATSE 659, her favorite production is her son, Aaron.
I want to offer love to you, beloved audience. Welcome to this world of Southern warmth and Matriarchal wisdom—in a production led by love and generosity from each human involved. This show is an act of love, of ‘survivance’, of community. What a joy to be back.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Design Mentee/Assistant – The Humans, Skylight. Sarah is a Nigerian multi-disciplinary artist and theatre designer based in Calgary. Select design credits: The Mountaintop (Persephone Theatre); Scope (Lunchbox Theatre); Murder in the Studio (Vertigo Theatre); Gimme Chance Leh (Chromatic Theatre); The Sound of Music, Where Words Once Were (StoryBook Theatre); A Christmas Story, Sexy Laundry (Keyano Theatre); Safe Site (Downstage Theatre). Sarah is an emerging filmmaker, and she enjoys creative collaborations and is passionate about storytelling, and artistic exploration through theatre, film and visual art.
Jennifer Lee Arsenault
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: The Humans. Jennifer has worked with theatres across Canada including: Lunchbox Theatre, Fire Exit Theatre, the Stratford Festival, Handsome Alice Theatre, The Shakespeare Company, Alberta Theatre Projects, Theatre NorthWest, Vertigo Theatre, Chromatic Theatre, Cowtown Opera, the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Eye Eye Eye and L'île Imagin'air. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts in Scenography from the École Supérieure de Théâtre of the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Resident Voice Coach – More than 60 productions since 2000 including Admissions, The Louder We Get, Noises Off, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Scarlet Letter, Mary and Max – A New Musical, Honour Beat, 10 seasons of Shakespeare by the Bow and 15 years of A Christmas Carol. Jane has also worked for ATP, is the Voice & Dialect Consultant for Vertigo Theatre and the Voice & Text Coach for The Shakespeare Company. Jane also coaches Voice and Presence through her business Voice Activated. She has taught Voice for the Actor and Acting at such institutions as York University, Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, MRU, UofA, and is currently teaching in the Drama Division in the School of Creative & Performing Arts at the UofC. Jane lives in Mohkínstsis, with her husband and daughter, and our sweet lab, Trixie.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: (selected) A Christmas Carol (2010-19, 2021), The Scarlet Letter, Mary and Max, Sisters: The Belles Soeurs Musical, Crazy For You, Mary Poppins; Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare by the Bow). Emma is so pleased to be a part of this team at Theatre Calgary as we bring the joy of live theatre back to the city. Select credits include: Actually, Zorro: Family Code, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Venus in Fur, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (ATP); Undercover, The Hollow (Vertigo Theatre); Sansei: The Storyteller, Inner Elder, 6 Guitars, Beneath Springhill (Lunchbox Theatre); and Blind Date (Spontaneous Theatre). Emma would like to thank her husband Eric for feeding the cats, keeping the home fires burning, and always being the steadiest rock in the tides.
(she/her) FOR THEATRE CALGARY: Stage Manager – A Midsummer Night's Dream (2019, 2012), The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, Hamlet (Shakespeare by the Bow), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare by the Bow). Assistant Stage Manager - A Christmas Carol (2019), Billy Elliot the Musical, The Humans, Skylight, The Light in the Piazza, Bad Jews. Other selected credits: Undressed, Stealing Sam (Alberta Theatre Projects); The Children, A Doll’s House Pt. 2 (Belfry Theatre); Murder in the Studio, 39 Steps, Our Man in Havana, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight (Vertigo Theatre); Smoke (Downstage). Carissa would like to thank her fiancé, Myles, for his continued support.
(she/her) THEATRE CALGARY DEBUT. Jennifer is ecstatic to debut with Theatre Calgary on Steel Magnolias. Selected stage management credits include: 我的名是张欣恩 (Chromatic Theatre); Sherlock Holmes and the Raven's Curse (Vertigo Theatre); The Tempest, Hamlet Frequency (The Shakespeare Company); The Sound of Music (StoryBook Theatre); Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder (Stage West); In and Out of Love (One Yellow Rabbit); The Mousetrap (Torchlight Theatre). In her free time you will see her rock climbing, exploring new restaurants, or playing video games. She would like to thank her parents, Catherine and Paul, and puppy, Max, for their immense love and continued support. @jyeungrealestates
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