Steel Magnolias

by Robert Harling

Originally produced by the W.P.A. Theatre, New York City, 1987.
(Kyle Renick, Artistic Director)

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Director's Thank You

I am so grateful that you have taken the time to enjoy RCT’s production of Steel Magnolias. Your support means so much to everyone who has been involved in bringing our version to the Dixie stage. Originally written as a screenplay by Robert Harling about his experience with his sister’s death from diabetes, Steel Magnolias highlights the authenticity of the bonds of family and friendship and the steely strength of delicate “Magnolia” women as they navigate together life’s joys and challenges.

It takes a village to put on a theatre production. What we have brought to you tonight on stage is not only the result of hours of hard work but also from the efforts of so many people who invested their time and talents. I’d like to thank each and every one of those people for adding their handprints, in some way, to these performances. From the auditions to the set to the rehearsals to the cheers of encouragement, this show would not be possible without the contributions of so many of you. 

It is my hope that you, the audience, as you look through the “mirror” in front of you for these next few hours, will take a piece of this show home in your heart after the curtain falls and be reminded that you, too, were an important part of bringing this timeless story to life. 

Thank you again for coming to support our show.

Beth Heidenreich

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Cast Members


Chanley Patterson, Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie

Chanley Patterson has been on the stage since the age of seven, playing roles ranging from Tessie in Annie to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Being in Steel Magnolias is particularly special because every woman connects with this show on some level, and that is no different for Chanley - she has never related more to a role than she does to Shelby. Theatre has been a love for Chanley her entire life, and it is a JOY to be back on the stage here in Ruston! 




Mackenzie Davidson, M’Lynn Eatenton -

MacKenzie moved to Ruston almost four years ago with her family from Salerno, Italy. She is a special education teacher at Ruston Elementary. Steel Magnolias is MacKenzie’s second performance with RCT. She first appeared as Mrs. Blewit in Anne of Green Gables. Playing M’Lynn has been a desire of MacKenzie’s since she first saw the play as a teenager because of the character’s strength juxtaposed with her fragility and the unconditional and unwavering love she has for her daughter. MacKenzie thanks her mom for being her example of a steel magnolia. 


Emma Alexander, Ouiser Boudreaux

Emma Alexander is the daughter of Dee and Tami Alexander. She is 22 years old and has two siblings, an older brother, named Jonathan and a younger sister Chloe. Emma will be graduating this spring as biology major here at Louisiana Tech University. She will go on to work at Dayton Children's in Ohio. This is her 20th production in theatre. She hopes you enjoy the show! 


Mary Elizabeth Halbrook, Clairee Belcher

Mary Elizabeth is excited to be back on the stage with RCT. Was last seen in Father of the Bride, and previously in Dixie Swim Club and Second Samuel. She's married to Andy, mom to Andrew and Madison, and MeMe to Hearne & Charlotte! Her hobbies include Chalk Couture, playing Pokeno & gardening. She's a member of the Ruston Garden Club & Republican Women's Club.


Amy Houck, Truvy Jones

Amy is thrilled to be playing the role of ‘Truvy’. She wants to dedicate this performance to her Louisiana family and her California family and most of all to her Momma, Doyce Houck.  Also, J’aime mon Doux Sha!


Lindsay Holmes, Annelle Dupuy-Desoto

Lindsay earned her master's degree in accounting at Louisiana Tech University in 2021. She currently works full-time as an accountant. In high school, she was accepted into the Bossier Talented Arts Program, and performed in several shows, her favorite being CLUE. Lindsay joined RCT this season and was most recently seen as Belle in Descendants.



Beth Heidenreich, Director  

Beth Heidenreich is a 7th grade English teacher at Ruston Junior High. Before arriving in Ruston three years ago with her husband Chris, Beth directed and produced various plays and musicals in high school and church in both Ohio and Michigan. She served as assistant stage manager for Ruston Community Theatre's production of Anne of Green Gables and is excited to be having her debut as director of RCT's production of Steel Magnolias. Beth and her husband enjoy traveling to spend time with their adult children, Jillian and Daniel.


Monika Locke, Assisting Director

While Monika has worked backstage for almost 30 shows, this is only her second chance getting to try her hand at assisting directing. It has been such a joy watching these women develop their southern belle characters in this heartfelt play. Thank you Beth for trusting me to assist you! Enjoy the show - I love you all!


Lainey Roberts, Production Stage manager

Lainey Roberts is 18 years old and a senior in high school. Lainey has volunteered for 17 shows since the fall of 2021 and has loved each one! She often does lighting design or assistant stage management. Lainey is very excited to stage manage this show and hopes that you walk away inspired by the beautiful story! 


Grisham Locke, Assistant Stage Manager

Grisham Locke is a senior at Ruston High and is ecstatic to be on the management team for the first time. He will be attending Texas State University in the fall pursuing a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. MT '28, Go Bobcats!


Sponsored by:

Steel Magnolias is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. (

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