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Steel Magnolias (DPS Acting Edition)
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Steel Magnolias (DPS Acting Edition)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  9,871 ratings  ·  45 reviews
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Paperback, Acting Edition, 82 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published January 1st 1988)
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Best Southern Literature
46th out of 777 books — 1,872 voters
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40th out of 419 books — 568 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jan 12, 2012 Cordelia rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Caroline Stewart
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 4 of 5 stars
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!
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
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
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
Tracy Morton
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.
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.
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.

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 4 of 5 stars
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
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.
Laughed, cried, laughed again. Highly recommend.
Ciara Anderson
A touching story of love and loss with big hair and loud personalities.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
This play was very good. I would love to see it on stage, and perhaps be in it. Kind of hard to get attached to any character since it was script format, but I almost just like reading dialogue. Too much description bores me.
Charlane Brady
I admire Robert Harling not just because he is a Louisianan from the town I was born but also because he wrote a beautiful, funny and moving play after the death of his sister. The play Steel Magnolias swept me away.
Andrea Adams
I have been involved in 2 productions of this play. The first in 1992 on the backstage crew. The 2nd in 2009 as Truvy's understudy & on the crew again.
I really love this play. The whole things takes place in a beauty shop ... which reminds me of the beauty shops in Sharon Springs. Those were good times.
Leah Madsen
I liked the movie better. I understand that a play is more limited in space and people, but I liked all the additional things that the movie had.
I had no idea that the movie was a play first...and written by a MAN! The movie was remarkably true to the play and I enjoyed reading it.
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“I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.” 43 likes
“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." (Truvey Jones)” 29 likes
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