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Steel Magnolias (DPS Acting Edition)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,120 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Presents the script of a 1988 play about a group of women in Chinquapin, Louisiana, who learn to draw upon their underlying strength and love to meet the challenges of life.
Paperback, Acting Edition, 82 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published January 1st 1988)
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
52nd out of 883 books — 2,215 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 12, 2012 Cordelia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Women, feminists, people who need hope
This play changed the way I interacted with other women; it allows women to be both feminine and strong in everyday life. The characters are multidimensional, fierce women and watching them interact with one another without the pettiness and jealousy which is so prevalent in fictional portrayals of female friendships is refreshing.
Dec 13, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
It's kinda hard to critique a script, but I would have to say that this one is a solid five stars. The women are strongly written and aren't cartoons. The female "cookie cutter" jokes (i.e. PMS) don't feel like a bash. I think the real reason why I love this script is because the character Shelby is based on Robert Harling's real sister who did have diabetes issues and sadly passed away after the birth of her son. I love that Robert Harling chose to create something AMAZING from such a sorrowful ...more
Caroline Stewart
Jan 02, 2012 Caroline Stewart rated it it was amazing
I had seen the movie years ago and was surprised that I liked it so much. Now having read the play, I'm struck not by the fact that the entire play took place in the beauty parlor (something that was mentioned to me after I had seen the movie, which at the time struck me as amazing), but the fact that the most memorable characters are the almost ancillary ones. It's more a story about life than about one particular tragedy. And the humor makes the pathos that much more impactful.
Carole Bartholomeaux
Oct 02, 2007 Carole Bartholomeaux rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This true story of a young woman battling Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes who just wants to live a normal life and the family who loved her is both heartbreaking and uplifting. That a younger brother would write this about his sister is testament to just what a wonderful young woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, she was. As much fun as the play and movie were, the book is so well written. If you need a good cry, this book is it. Enjoy!
Jan 02, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Steel Magnolias is a play that takes place in the 80s. Robert Harling captures the essence of six very different women as they go on their lives, recounting on their adventures and misadventures in Truvy’s beauty parlor. This play is recommended to anyone who enjoys a non-descriptive play filled with banter of different women as their paths cross with one another in a small town in a Louisiana in the 1980s.
The characters are somewhat original, with the acceptation of the classic stereotype of a
Jan 03, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I have very fond memories of putting this on in high school - including a now-classic line not included in the script... During a show, some of the actresses got off-script and distracted, lost a line somewhere, and searching for anything, anything at all to say, Annelle ad-libbed to M'lynn, "Do you dye your hair?" Everyone cracked up, and then the tension was broken and floundering stopped, they found their way, and finished the show, but... in a hair salon, really?!

It's really a tearjerker, bu
Nov 14, 2015 Thomas rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
I actually hate this play, but it does what it sets out to do so I can hardly rate it lower. After seeing the equally wretched movie as part of my "Watch every Oscar nom for Best Picture, in hopes of driving yourself into Arkham Asylum," I saw and then read the play. The production I saw was actually very good, but I have a fundamental objection to the play and, by extension, the film.

For everyone who loves the film, and especially every woman who loves it, I invite you to consider that this pla
Tracy Morton
Sep 12, 2009 Tracy Morton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Steel Magnolias was one of the first big stage production that I was involved in so I have biased warm memories about it. I remember that right from the first rehearsal until the final show I was still able to laugh out loud and cry along with the show.
Aug 13, 2015 Misti rated it it was amazing
A true classic about the bonds of female friendship. Never ceases to make me laugh and cry. Love the stage version and the movie.
The first act is comedy, the second is tragedy. Five strong Southern women in a small town come together, clash, bicker, and help one another through good times and bad. Lots of roles for women, and the plot isn't entirely about romance. Sort of a The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for older women.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

I performed this play in our high school production. I loved and cried watching the movie with Julia Roberts and Sally Field.
Nov 27, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Wonderful play, good movie. I like that the play takes place just in the beauty shop and only with the 6 women.
Jun 21, 2007 Sean marked it as to-read
(the phone rings)
CLAIREE. I'll get it.
M'LYNN. I'll bet that's for me. It's probably my mind trying to locate my body.
CLAIREE. (Answering.) Hello? Yessir, she is. Hold on a minute. M'Lynn. It's your husband


TRUVY. ...This is the most successful shop in town. Wanna know why?
ANNELLE. (Offstage.) Why?
TRUVY. Because I have a strict philosophy that I have stuck to for fifteen years... "There is no such thing as natural beauty." That's why I've never lost a client...


TRUVY. ...There is something so
Gena Lott
Oct 14, 2015 Gena Lott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, drama
One of my favorite plays of all times! I was cast as Truvy, but next time I am going for Ouiser!
Garrett Cash
Occasionally witty, but most of the time I just had that squirmy, disgusted feeling you get when you hear a bunch of middle age women gossiping and talking about things that don't matter.
Nov 28, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Laughed, cried, laughed again. Highly recommend.
Aug 04, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 07, 2010 Lisse rated it really liked it
I had seen the movie, but had never written the play. The whole play takes place in Truvy's salon and we learn about what is going on in the 6 womens lives based on the gossip in the salon. This is a funny and moving story about the strength and love of these friends. A very good read, with nice - not overly stereotyped - characters. I feel a lot of people make southerners sound stupid or slow, but the playwright did a great job of creating real women.
Apr 17, 2013 Bj rated it really liked it
Harling presents us with a cross-section of society's women as seen in the beauty parlor. They ask after each other's families, and tease each other, too. The strength and tenderness of the women is on display here. These women are real, and each has her difficulties. They value their privacy, but are willing to share with this circle of friends, sometimes reluctantly. Ultimately, they lean on each other, and find strength in community.
Emily Lewis
Jul 02, 2014 Emily Lewis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
After an untold number of views of the movie and the play, reading it still made me "laugh through the tears". This play is a classic, and deservedly so.
Mar 12, 2016 Bree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, classics, plays
One of the few times where the movie was as good as the book (probably because the book here was a play).
Mar 30, 2015 Anjum rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
This play just didn't really have much that really pulled you in. I mean, you kind of wonder what's going on, but honestly, it isn't that interesting. That being said, it wasn't that bad. It was actually pretty good. But it was nothing spectacular. Probably a lot better to be seen than read. And it's nice that it's just 6 girls, because that means that a lot of places will easily do this show.
Oct 27, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
This play is not what one would consider a literary masterpiece by any means, but it is witty, funny, and heartwarming. The characters are very real and the dialogue and situations do not seem forced or too contrived. It's a delightful play to watch (the movie version is good too) and I would recommend it to anyone. Admittedly it is somewhat of a "chick-flick" but it was written by a man!
Feb 13, 2016 ShanLandis rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
I quite liked this play that our community theater group is producing. I might audition to play M’Lynn, depending on who else is auditioning— and who is producing. And, can we get support from the local hairdressers to help with the props and scenery? The play is set entirely in a hair salon in the south.
Steel Magnolias is a very picturesque portal of the South. I've heard the film version described as a complete tear jerker, a definite chick-flick. When the big tragedy is reveal, I felt unimpressed. It felt like such a mild way to excuse a character out of the rest of the play.
Sep 20, 2013 Nicolas rated it really liked it
Shelves: scripts
A fun small-cast play with dynamic characters. The clever dialogue and fast-paced scenes made it an enjoyable read. I did feel at times that characters seemed a bit interchangeable, but that can fixed with direction. It reminded a bit of Beth Henley's superior play Crimes of the Heart.
Jan 10, 2013 D rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of strong Southern women, sisterhood, and cuppa, cuppa, cuppa
Recommended to D by: SMC theater
a beautiful look at the strength of spirit that lies beneath the beautiful veneer of the ostensibly fragile southern belle. an ode to sisterhood. hilarious and heartbreaking. comic, larger-than-life characters reveal live's truths through the mundane and the horrific alike.
Aug 16, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
Currently reading because I'm in the play. I'm so excited to be in this show. My character, Annelle goes through so many transformations and a lot of self discovery. It's such an hysterically funny yet heart warming and tragic story all rolled into one.
Mar 26, 2012 Bekka added it
Read this for my directing class. It was ok. I'm not really into sappy stories, but this one was pretty good. The relationships between the women are pretty entertaining. I didn't like it well enough to choose a scene from it to direct.
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“I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.” 45 likes
“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." (Truvey Jones)” 31 likes
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