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Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias, written by American writer Robert Harling, is a fictional comedy- drama based on his experience with his sister's death. The play is set in northwest Louisiana and follows the lives of a group of women as they face life challenges with humour and resilience.


The title suggests the "female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel". The magnolia specifically references a magnolia tree they are arguing about at the beginning.


Originally planned to be directed by revered local director Pat Slattery who is moving south, Donna Fairall will now guide a small cast of talented local actors through this poignant, funny and touching play.

Written by Rob Selzer (Professor of Psychiatry at Monash Uni) this fast-paced comedy features four players and switches from the present to the past and back again.

Betty and Barry Bishop are a power couple, he works as a senior broker in the family stock broking business, and she has a popular and influential lifestyle TV show called ‘Betty Perfect’ that has a huge following.

Everything in their life is ‘perfect’, and now Betty has decided they need a baby to make it all complete.

The problem is, they can’t seem to conceive, and Betty’s physician has referred them to Dr. Jack Glass, a Psychiatrist specialising in couples counselling.

The story unfolds as Jack talks to Zelda, his very experienced professional supervisor, about how his interactions with the Bishops over time have led to a very sticky situation. The play uses flashback scenes of Jack working with the Bishops to tell the tale, and as Jack relates the details to Zelda, we come to the present day, and then things get complicated.

The play has only been performed on a couple of occasions, generating extremely positive audience feedback, and offers a chance for CHATS to work with the playwright in polishing and presenting a cracking new Australian comedy.

Taking the stage in July 2021, audition dates and times will be announced in the new year.

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