WLAC gears up for first spring season’s first production

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

With normalcy just around the corner as COVID-19 mandates begin to minimize, the Warehouse Living Arts Center Theatre & Gallery’s board of directors have decided to move forward with their first big show of the season, Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling.

Celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year, the theater is shifting its focus to bring back hit shows that have graced the WLAC’s stage over the last half century. Steel Magnolias first appeared on their stage 31 years ago in 1990, then again in 2001 – both productions directed by Cranston Dodds. The 2021 version will be directed by Amy Gonzales, who is no stranger to the local stage.

“We tip-toed into the new season with the small, one weekend production of Love Letters, but are now ready to ramp up with Steel Magnolias,” said John Kaiser III, executive director of the Warehouse Living Arts Center. “While state restrictions allow for us to open up 100 percent, we still acknowledge that the pandemic is not behind us just yet, so we will have select “socially distant” shows, and then others with the whole of the house available.”

“However, we will be enforcing social distancing protocols in the lobby for the health and safety of our cast, crew, and volunteers for all performances.”

Being a community theater, they rely on community talent to cast their shows. If you are interested in auditioning for Steel Magnolias, Auditions will be held 6:30 p.m. April 1 and 2 on the main stage at 119 W. 6th Avenue. Character breakdowns and audition tips can be found on the website at www.theWLAC.com.

For those that want to audition, but cannot make the audition dates, reach out to the theatre and they will be happy to work something out.

The show is also in need of stage and tech crew as well, so if you are looking to get involved, but do not want to be on the stage, get in touch with the Warehouse Living Arts Center and let them know your interest.

“I am really excited to be bringing on Amy Gonzales to direct the show,” Kaiser said. “Not only does she have a strong theatrical background, and comes from a family of directors, she also has a history as a hair stylist which gives her that extra added insight into bringing a production based in a salon to life.”

“I can’t wait to begin working with her and seeing her vision for Steel Magnolias come to life.”

For those who have never seen the hit movie starring Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field and Shirley McClaine, or a stage production of Steel Magnolias, it is set in a small town in Louisiana, in the time of really big hair.

The six women gather in Truvy’s Beauty Shop for gossip, friendship, and support. These women are true steel magnolias: southern belles who are flowery on the outside, but tough as steel inside. The play is alternately hilarious and touching as it moves from excitement to loss with plenty of juicy gossip in between. The WLAC production will surely be one that you will not want to miss.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 26. Evening performances will be May 27 through 29, June 1, 3, 4, and 5, with a matinee showing on May 30. Show goers can contact the WLAC Box Office for more details at 903-872-5421, or visit them online at theWLAC.com.

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