Indiana State University Newsroom

‘Steel Magnolias’ kicks off Crossroads Rep’s season

June 15, 2018

Crossroads Repertory Theatre is kicking off their summer season with "Steel Magnolias" at Dreiser Theater on June 22.

Set in the 1980s, "Steel Magnolias" portrays a tightly knit group of women who deal with life and love through laughter at a small beauty salon in rural Louisiana. The play was the basis for the 1989 movie of the same name, both written by Robert Harling as a celebration of his sister's life.

"What does it mean to live a purposeful life? What does it mean to be a mother and a daughter? How does the power of our friendships, and the way we take care of each other -- particularly as women -- impact our lives?" asked the play's director Lauren Morris.

"My goal whenever I direct a play is that it is not mine but ours," she added. "I want the women to feel ownership of their characters. In order for us to connect with the audience, we have to be connected to each other. I want the audience to reflect on how precious every moment is."

The main character, Shelby, portrayed by Indiana State University senior Jo Garcia-Reger of Louisville, is a young bride-to-be who, along with her mother M'Lynn, has lived under the shadow of Type 1 diabetes.

"(The story is) a requiem to the playwright's sister Susan," Garcia-Reger said. "I have learned a lot from this role as Shelby. She is a very optimistic woman. She lives life day to day, and every day is important."

This year's Crossroads Rep season is being presented in the Dreiser, a proscenium Theater on Sixth Street on the Indiana State campus. The new setting invigorates the play's aesthetics.

"It creates a way to view the play that we wouldn't have in New Theater," Morris said. "It's like we have a little window into this world. Salons and barbershops are unique places, genders are separated and there's a cone of silence that descends in these places. People are safe, but are very vulnerable.

"People tell truths in these places that they wouldn't tell outside of them. They show us that life is made up of little moments that seem insignificant. The play does a great job of showing us that those moments aren't insignificant, that in fact every interaction is something that makes up your life - something we may not cherish until it's too late."

"Steel Magnolias" plays at 7:30 p.m. June 22, 23, 28 and 29, July 18, 21 and 26 and 4 p.m. June 24 in Indiana State's Dreiser Theater, North Sixth Street near Dede Plaza.

Season tickets are available for $52 each, and single-production tickets are $15-20 for general admission. For more information about this summer's season or to buy tickets, go to or call the box office at 812-237-3333.


Photos: -- The cast of "Steel Magnolias" rehearses. -- The cast of "Steel Magnolias" rehearses.

Media contact: David Marcia, instructor, department of theater, Indiana State University,

Writer: Antonio Turner, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, or 812-237-3773