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Bell Road Barn Players bring life to Alumni Hall once again

The+cast+of+Steele+Magnolias%2C+in+order+from+left+to+right%3A+Truvy%2C+played+by+Shelly+Richards%3B+Shelby%2C+played+by+Kim+Hentges%3B+Ouiser%2C+played+by+Vicki+Kerns%3B+Clairee%2C+played+by+Linda+Levin%3B+M%27Lynn%2C+played+by+Nancy+Nail%3B+and+Annelle%2C+played+by+Gina+Drapela
The cast of Steele Magnolias, in order from left to right: Truvy, played by Shelly Richards; Shelby, played by Kim Hentges; Ouiser, played by Vicki Kerns; Clairee, played by Linda Levin; M'Lynn, played by Nancy Nail; and Annelle, played by Gina Drapela

The cast of Steele Magnolias, in order from left to right: Truvy, played by Shelly Richards; Shelby, played by Kim Hentges; Ouiser, played by Vicki Kerns; Clairee, played by Linda Levin; M'Lynn, played by Nancy Nail; and Annelle, played by Gina Drapela

Carin Bublitz

Carin Bublitz

The cast of Steele Magnolias, in order from left to right: Truvy, played by Shelly Richards; Shelby, played by Kim Hentges; Ouiser, played by Vicki Kerns; Clairee, played by Linda Levin; M'Lynn, played by Nancy Nail; and Annelle, played by Gina Drapela

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The Bell Road Barn Players presented Steele Magnolias from March 16 through 25. Steele Magnolias, performed at the David Theater inside Park University’s Alumni Hall, marked the 64th year of existence for the Bell Road Barn Players. However, the Barn Players have not always called David Theater home.

Founded by Jenkin David, a former theater professor at Park University, the players started out in Hawthorne House on Bell Road in Parkville, MO. They moved in 1986 when that property was sold, moving on to Riverside until the flood of 1993. The damage from the flood forced the production group to move to Park University’s campus until 2008. When Park’s enrollment grew, the players put on a couple shows at Park Hill South High School. Eventually the Bell Road Barn players move back to Park University and have remained since.

“We’re very grateful to President (Greg) Gunderson and his team for making the space available for us,” says Scott Briscoe, Treasure of the Bell Road Barn Players.

Steel Magnolias is “A heart-wrenching drama about a beauty shop owned by Truvy and her clients as they experience love, apathy, pain, loss, and secrecy. Experience the power of hope, the love between a mother and her child and the  unbreakable bond between true friends,” says the Bell Road Barn Players website www.bellroadbarn.com.

The cast brought the roles of Truvy, Annelle, Shelby, M’Lynn, Clairee, and Ouiser to life. During the show the audience felt the range of emotions each character portrayed. The beginning of the play, when Annelle is desperate for the job at Truvy’s Salon Gina Drapela made the audience feel her desperation for a job with her vivid facial expressions and tone of voice. By the end of the performance, when M’Lynn feels the biggest heartbreak of her life when her daughter Shelby passes away, there was not a dry eye in the house. Everyone felt her pain through the yelling, crying, and love from the rest of the cast.

Steel Magnolias was a magnificent production that will be followed by two more productions during the summer, She Stoops to Conquer June 15-24 and The 39 Steps, July 25-Aug. 5. To purchase tickets on upcoming shows visit www.bellroadbarn.com or visit the Bell Road Barn Players Facebook page.

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Bell Road Barn Players bring life to Alumni Hall once again