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Community and friendship shine in “Steel Magnolias”

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“This is a story about a community coming together in hard times, which definitely resonates with everyone right now,” said LoriAnne Poulson, director of the Lehi Arts Council production of “Steel Magnolias.” The show runs from Friday, April 23 to Saturday, May 8 on Mondays, and Thursdays – Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Glen M. Smith Family Theatre, 685 North Center.

The entire play takes place inside a beauty parlor where six women talk about the difficult things they’re dealing with in their lives. “There are no men in the play, but they talk about them the whole time,” Poulson explained. “What they’re dealing with is very relatable – there is a character for everyone.” Each of the characters has a unique story and they are all so different that their friendships seem unlikely, but they grow surprisingly close as they talk through their problems at the beauty parlor.

Poulson had so many talented women audition for “Steel Magnolias” that she was able to double cast the production. “These women are extremely close. They say all the time that rehearsal is their favorite part of the day,” Poulson said. 

The “Steel Magnolias” cast has been rehearsing together, wearing masks and doing their best to stay healthy. “We wanted to be prepared in case someone needed to quarantine. We’ve learned to stay on our toes with COVID,” added Poulson. This is the first production of the year for Lehi Arts after a year of postponed and canceled shows in 2020. The 89-seat theater is back to 100% capacity, but audience members are required to wear masks.

Poulson has acted in Lehi Arts Council productions herself, beginning with “Beauty and the Beast” in 2016. “This is one of my favorite places to do theater. I always come back to Lehi Arts. There’s just something special about this community,” said Poulson.

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