Steel Magnolias

Clinton Community College Stafford Center Auditorium

February 7, 2019 at 7:00pm

February 8, 2019 at 7:00pm

February 9, 2019 at 7:00pm

February 10, 2019 at 5:00pm


$15 Reserved Seating ~ Online Purchasing Soon!


The action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" come to have their hair done.  Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, the play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—which give the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.

The Cast

Tonie Cross

Tonie Cross (Annelle) is a graduate of Hartwick College where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Theatre. She is currently a graduate student studying Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University and full-time dog bather. Tonie has previously represented her college at the North American Drama Therapy Association’s Annual Conference in 2016 and received two Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominations during her time at Hartwick. She also spent two years as a Theatre Shop Attendant, constructed three nine-foot-tall Bread and Puppet style political puppets, and co-directed and designed the set for her senior thesis performance of The Last Five Years, in which she also played Cathy.  Tonie was most recently seen in ACT's debut production of Constellations as Marianne and as Sister James in ACT's reading of Doubt: A Parable. Other favorite past roles include Velma Kelly in Chicago, CB’s Sister in Dog Sees God, and Grusha Vashnadze in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. 

Gabrielle Dion

Gabrielle Dion (Shelby), hailing from Peru, NY, is a recent graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with Administrative Business and Entertainment Tech minors. In the future, Gabrielle plans to pursue a Masters in Arts Administration. She has been participating in local theatre for over seven years and is thrilled to be working with Artistry Community Theatre for the first time. Some of her favorite recent credits include Tricia in Dog Sees God (SUNY Purchase), Natalie in Next To Normal (Essex Theatre Company), Brianna in Good Kids (SUNY Plattsburgh), and Lydia Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (Pendragon Theatre). 

Mary Kate Gardner

Mary Kate Gardner (Ouiser) is appearing with Artistry Community Theatre for the first time. She has performed in community theater productions since her illustrious debut as Gollum in The Hobbit in 6th grade. Mary Kate has performed in several Chazy Music Theatre (CMT) productions beginning with The King and I in 2008 through Chicago in 2014. Favorite roles include Mrs. Tottendale in CMT’s The Drowsy Chaperone and Odysseus’ Mother in SUNY Plattsburgh’s production of The Odyssey. Mary Kate is reprising the role of Ouiser, which she originally performed with Our Town Theater Group (OTTG) in 2002. Mary Kate was a founding member of OTTG in 1997 in North Creek, NY under CMT’s Artistic Director, Lyle Dye. Mary Kate is a nonprofit administrator by day, serving as the Director of Clinton and Essex Counties Senior Corps Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

Gigi Mason

Gigi Mason (Truvy) is thrilled to be back in an ACT production, having previously participated in Hello Dolly! this past July. Gigi has directed and acted in regional theatre companies including the Essex Theatre Company, Clinton Community College and Lake Placid Center for the Arts, and she sang in the trio “Ya Got Treble”. She has sung with the Pleasant Valley Chorale for almost 20 years. Favorite roles include Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense and Nunsense II, Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate, Mona in Chicago, and all of her roles in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Gigi was associated with Boquet River Theatre Festival (BRTF) from the summer of 1998 through 2018 as a costumer, director and producer, and is passionate about nurturing young actors. Most recently, Gigi joined the directorial staff of the Au Sable Valley Players as choreographer in 2018. In her spare time Gigi is the Elementary Principal at the totally awesome Au Sable Forks Elementary School, where she directs 250 students every day.

Linda Murphy

Linda Murphy (Clairee) has returned to theatre after a long hiatus to raise a family with her beloved husband Steve and pursue her nursing career. Now retired, she is eager to resume acting and costuming for local theatre.  Linda acted and studied theatre throughout her high school and early college years. She performed in several productions including Shakespearean Theatre (Merry Wives of Windsor as Ann Page), drama and comedy (Haunting of Hill House, The Curious Savage as Mrs. Paddy) a few musicals (Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Music Man and The Unsinkable Molly Brown).  In 2011 she was in the ensemble for Clinton Community College's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was then cast in a student directed production of Ned Albert's comedy Fireman, Save My Child as Mrs. Quingle.  This is her first appearance with Artistry Community Theatre and she is delighted to be part of the fun.

LeeAnn Thomas

Lee Ann Thomas (M’Lynn) holds a B.S. degree in Communications from Ohio University with certification to teach English, Speech, and Theater at the secondary level.  She has an M.A. degree from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in Organizational Communication.  Currently, she is a professor at Clinton Community College in the Humanities Department where she has taught since 1992.  While most of her career has been as a teacher, she has learned her most important life lessons on the power of love and the importance of friends from her family (Steve, Katie, and Emily), life-long friends, and Dumbledore.  Her local performance history includes directing student productions at Clinton (Wait Until Dark, You Can’t Take It With You, and I Remember Mama,) and having roles in productions of Plattsburgh Little Theater (Cemetery Club, Lovers and Other Strangers, Dinner with Friends) and Adirondack Regional Theater Murder Mystery Dinner Shows.  This is her first appearance with Artistry.

The Creative Team

Camryn Lincoln

Michael Rafferty

Saundra Stortz

Saundra Stortz (Director) has been on the Board of Directors for Artistry since its inception.  Last Spring she directed our first dramatic production, Constellations.  She was Asst. Music Director for Hello, Dolly! last summer.  Sandy earned her degree in communication and theatre arts at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she worked as stage manager, makeup designer and crew chief, and did a little acting (The Boyfriend, Stop the World I want to Get Off, The Tempest).  Locally, her onstage credits include the Lysistrata Project at Clinton Community College, South Pacific, Chicago (Matron Mama Morton) and Anything Goes (Evangeline Harcourt) for the Chazy Music Theatre. She has co-directed two shows with Derrick Hopkins, Beyond Therapy and I Hate Hamlet (Essex Theatre Company).  Sandy teaches courses in theatre, music, and public speaking at Clinton Community College. She was the first recipient there of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching in 2015. She is retired from Seton Academy/St. Peter’s School, where she was the general music teacher for 16 years.

Eileen Wrisley

Eileen Wrisley (Assistant to the Director) is happy to be part of Steel Magnolias. She brings rich and varied experience to her work with Artistry.  A graduate of Becker Junior College, Clinton Community College, and Plattsburgh State with a B.A. in Business Administration, Eileen has worked in Human Resources for the Press-Republican, the Manchester NH School District, and the UVM Health Network – CVPH, after 20 years in banking for Albany Savings Bank (now Community.)  She was previously treasurer and on Board for Honor Society at Clinton Community College and sang with the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society and acted as their treasurer. Now retired to provide daycare for her grandson, she has found Artistry to help fill her free time.  Last summer she was in the onstage ensemble for Hello, Dolly! She jumped in to save the day as costume assistant, altering costumes and constructing hats and Dolly’s spectacular headdress.