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Center Players to Open Season with "Steel Magnolias"

originally published: 09/20/2023

Center Players to Open Season with "Steel Magnolias"

(FREEHOLD, NJ) -- Center Players will begin its 2023-24 season with a Signature Series production of the enduringly popular Steel Magnolias. The comedic drama will run weekends from October 13 to November 5, 2023 at Center Playhouse at 35 South Street in downtown Freehold.

Robert Harling's 1987 play takes place in a beauty salon in Louisiana where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser; eccentric millionaire Miss Clairee, and the local social leader M’Lynn, whose daughter Shelby is about to marry a “good ole boy.” What begins as a comedy eventually turns tragic, and the sudden realization of the characters' mortality and underlying strength through friendship makes the play truly touching and memorable. A 1989 feature film adaptation of Steel Magnolias starred Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and an unknown Julia Roberts.

Directed by Sharon Coyle and Mark Papa, the Center Players cast features a local, award-winning cast: Andrea Bell Wolff (Truvy), Christa Collier (Annelle), Jennifer Hyman Zimmerman (Clairee), Julia Angeliadis (Shelby) Samantha Ambler (M’Lynn) and Rachel Hamilton (Ouiser).

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are priced at $28-$30 and can be purchased at or by calling 732-462-9093.

“Mark and I are honored to tell the story of these incredible characters, especially Shelby who is based on the playwright’s late sister. We bring our own personal life stories and experiences to this project and we are thrilled with our exceptional cast which brings these funny, inspirational and deeply human characters to life,” noted Coyle. “I had a chronic disease as a child, like Shelby, and a champion of a mom, much like M’Lynn, so these themes certainly resonate with me, and I’m sure with many others.”

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Following Steel Magnolias, Center Players will present a multi-generational and multi-cultural musical holiday event on December 8-10, featuring different performers at 2:00pm and 7:00pm shows.  Tickets will be available shortly.

Celebrating its 22nd season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants. For tickets and more information go to:



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