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Springs Community Theater Company Taking On Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias"

Nicole Barylski

Springs Community Theater Company (S.C.T.C.) is transporting theatergoers to Chinquapin, Louisiana during its next production, Steel Magnolias.

The heartwarming yet hilarious story follows a close-knit group of women, including the stunning Shelby Eatenton, as they deal with life, love and loss in a small town. Eatenton, who is newly married, is blissfully pregnant, but her diabetes could lead to life-threatening complications during childbirth. Her mother, M'Lynn Eatenton, is devastated by the thought of losing her only daughter, and leans on her closest friends to get through the difficult time. The ladies often gather at Truvy's in-home beauty parlour to gossip about the town's goings-on and reflect on life.

"Jayne Freedman, co-founder of the Springs Community Theater Company, and I have always wanted to do this show," explained Barbara Mattson. "Everyone can relate to the joys and sorrows in these six women's lives, how we all persevere in times of hardship, and keep a positive outlook on the future."

The comedy-drama by Robert Harling, which was based on his experience with his sister's death, originally opened Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre, in New York City, on March 28, 1987, and transferred to the Lucille Lortel Theatre later in the year. It was adapted for the big screen in 1989. The Herbert Ross film starred Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, Tom Skerritt, Dylan McDermott, Kevin J. O'Connor and Sam Shepard.

The Springs Community Theater Company's latest production will bring the Company back to where it all began - The Springs Community Presbyterian Church. "We have produced many musical productions in the last 10 years, including The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Grease, Anything Goes, Li'l Abner, South Pacific, and Once Upon a Mattress, and we have always wanted to do another play at this show's venue," she explained. "The Springs Community Presbyterian Church is very special to us, as our first production was staged there."

"There's much love, laughter and camaraderie packed into this grassroots theater company that we formed, to fill what was perceived as a community theater void in the East Hampton area," noted Mattson. "With great financial support from philanthropists in our community, especially Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, members of the company pitch in to make costumes and build sets."

This production will be bittersweet for S.C.T.C., who recently lost a beloved member. "Springs Community Theater Company's presentation of Steel Magnolias is dedicated to the memory of our much loved and highly revered Musical Director of many past productions, John "Jay" Bennett, who passed away only two months ago," she explained. "In his honor, the S.C.T.C. is creating a scholarship fund in his name for two graduating seniors at East Hampton High School. It is our hope and endeavor that a glimmer of Jay's creative energy and love be conveyed and felt through our portrayal of this wonderful story."

Springs Community Theater Company's Steel Magnolias can be seen on Friday, January 20th, Saturday, January 21st, Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28th. All shows will begin at 7 p.m. General admission is $20, and tickets for seniors and students are available for $15.

Springs Presbyterian Church is located at 5 Old Stone Highway in East Hampton. For more information, visit ovationtix.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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