TEASERS: 'Magnolias' cast.

Robert Hupp, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s producing artistic director, brings together six regional theater veterans in the kickoff play of the Rep’s 30th anniversary season: Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias.”
Audiences will get a sneak preview of the play on Thursday, Sept. 8. The official opening night is Friday, Sept. 9, on the Rep’s main stage. The Rep last performed “Steel Magnolias” in 1988 in the last production at its former location, on East 11th Street.
“This is a fitting play to launch our 30th anniversary season,” Hupp said. “Not only is it a nod to our past, but the play remains a delightful, funny and very touching tribute to strong Southern women.”
“Steel Magnolias” is a an endearing comedy focusing on a group of close-knit women who meet regularly at Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in a quaint Louisiana parish to gab, gossip and regroup. Within the characters’ eccentricities and jabs at each other are fundamental truths about the strength that women derive from each other.
Local actresses Candyce B. Hinkle and Judy Trice, who have appeared in several Rep productions, star along with Erin Moon, who recently was cast in the Rep’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Rep newcomers Laurie Dawn, Lori Fischer and Kelly Mares.
Resident set designer Mike Nichols’ stage centered on Truvy’s salon gives a nod to the 1988 production with blue vintage light fixtures.
Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Thursday’s preview starts with a 7:15 p.m. discussion of the play led by Hupp. A limited number of half-price tickets are available for that performance only. Regular prices are $30 for orchestra seating, $28 for first mezzanine and $20 for second mezz. Friday’s opening night includes a post-show reception with the cast in the Rep lobby.
Call 378-0405 or 866-684-3737 of visit www.therep.org via the Internet.