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A poignant "Steel Magnolias" comes to Kensington

Steel MagnoliasEdye Smith and Emily Karol rehearse scene from “Steel Magnolias.”   COURTESY PHOTO  After the death of his younger sister to diabetes, American writer Robert Harling penned a short story, “Steel Magnolias,” which he later adapted into the 1987 off-Broadway hit play.

Harling also wrote the screenplay for the 1989 film version, which became a hit on the strength of the performances of its powerhouse ensemble cast which included Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley Maclaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton and Daryl Hannah.

While director John Nunemaker might lack Harling’s family history, his background – a childhood spent in a rural area north of Hagerstown and getting his hair cut at a beauty salon – meshes with the play’s inherent strengths to give him a strong affinity for “Steel Magnolias,” which opens next month at Kensington Arts Theatre, where Nunemaker also serves as the theater’s artistic director.

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Trying to discover the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow in Rockville theater

  • Published in Local

Clare Shaffer has a definite preference for drama.

Since arriving in the DC area three years ago to take an internship at Olney Theatre Center, the now-independent director has staged productions of such shows as “Man of La Mancha.” Soon she will tackle “Sweeney Todd.”

But Shaffer not only offered to direct “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Rockville Musical Theatre; she also was the person who suggested that the theater present it.

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Center Stage: Olney Theatre shines with new "Diary of Anne Frank"

anne frankThe cast of Olney Theatre Center's "The Diary of Anne Frank."   COURTESY PHOTO  

OLNEY – For a heart-wrenchingly humanistic performance, look no further than “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Olney Theatre Center.

Within the first 10 minutes of watching the Franks and the van Daans move into their cramped quarters, all sense of time is lost as the actors’ enrapturing performance fills the beautifully-crafted stage.

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