Highland Summer Theatre shows no sign of slowing down with 1980s classic
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels closed in the Ted Paul Theatre on June 2, but Highland Summer Theatre does not slow down. Steel Magnolias will open in the Andreas Theatre on Wednesday, June 13.
Based on the 1989 movie starring Dolly Parton, Steel Magnolias takes place in a beauty salon in rural Louisiana where we meet the characters and watch them experience their endeavors.
Steel Magnolias will be directed by Benji Inniger, who had much to say when asked what he was most excited for.
“For me personally, directing a summer show in this crazy, accelerated schedule is very exciting” he said. “I’ve directed plays before, but never so fast that you close the show less than two weeks after first rehearsal. It’s exhilarating! I also feel as though I have a tremendously strong cast. I haven’t been able to work with any of them in this capacity before, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them and seeing the amazing stuff they will bring to the table.”
Although the interview was conducted during the pre-rehearsal process, Inniger had a few comments about working with a cast that is so small.
“I certainly like [working with a small cast].” He said. “It gives us a small chance to get to know one another and to hopefully get to know the personalities of the actor and the character a little better. Communication is also a little easier with a more concentrated group of people.”
There is a lot that goes into putting a show together. Although audiences only see the product on the stage, Inniger talked about what goes on behind the scenes.
“Working with the design team had been sort of different from the past because I’m also the set and sound designer. That’s good in a way because I spend less time arguing with myself but obviously, there is the potential to have a less collaborative product.
However, I’ve worked with the lighting designer, Steve Smith, several times and I think he is always brilliant. The costume designer, Scott Anderson, the technical director, Dalen O’Connell, and the management team are all new to me, but so far everyone has had great ideas and has been wonderfully supportive.”
Luckily, Inniger has a good team to work with but in such small-time frames, stress cannot be avoided. When questioned about stress management for this show, he had more to add.