The South Arkansas Arts Center is pleased to announce the production team for “Steel Magnolias,” sponsored by Murphy USA and slated for performances in June. The team, led by director Tripp Phillips, includes a wide ranging group of theatre professionals with strong ties to SAAC, talented amateurs, and active members of the SAAC Theatre Steering Committee who will come together bring the world of Chinquapin, Louisiana to life on the stage.
“SAAC is extraordinarily lucky to be able to welcome so many veterans of our stage back home for this long-awaited production,” said executive director Laura Allen. “Many of the people working behind the scenes on this show grew up at SAAC and went on to careers in the world of professional theatre. It is an amazing gift that they are contributing their time and talent to this show.”
Wearing many hats is Scotty Cain, who will be serving as the Assistant Director, Production Stage Manager, and Co-Costume Coordinator. An El Dorado native and longtime SAAC veteran, Scotty has lived and worked in Los Angeles and New York City, working in the wardrobe departments of many major Broadway shows, including “Moulin Rouge,” “Hamilton,” and “Bullets Over Broadway.” Working alongside Scotty backstage will be Stage Manager Rhett Davis, who spends his days as the office manager of ArtAttack! Graphic Design and his free time keeping things running smoothly both onstage and behind the scenes at SAAC.
Scenic Design will be headed by Selby Souza, a New York- and San Francisco-based scenic designer, who is excited to be a part of the Steel Magnolias team and to work with the SAAC community for the first time. Currently she is the set dresser for the Academy of Art University’s Schools of Entertainment located in San Francisco, and recent designs in New York include: “if there is breakage you will find chips” (On Women Festival, 2021); and “Town Hall” (Barnard University). El Dorado’s own Shawn Dartez is the production’s Master Carpenter, translating Selby’s vision into reality; Richard Wharton serves as Set Dresser; and Katy Callaway Hayes is the Set Painting Supervisor.
El Dorado native Regan Dodson will serve as the show’s Lighting Designer. Regan received a B.A. in Technical Theatre from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She has lived in New York City for almost two decades and has extensive lighting and production credits there and around the country, including myriad Off-Broadway shows as an electrician; 26 seasons as a production electrician and technical director for New York’s famed Fashion Week; and technical producer for the Metropolitan Opera Gala. She is currently back home in El Dorado and traveling to work as a lighting designer and technical director for corporate conferences, live music performances, and special events.
The show’s eye-catching poster and graphic identity have been crafted by Philip Tommey, a long-time member of the SAAC family, who is currently a freelance graphic designer and internet developer in Chicago. Born and raised in El Dorado, he took many art classes at SAAC and performed onstage in six summer musicals from 1971-1978, and designed poster and program art for a number of productions.
Sound Designer Jacob George is a 16-year veteran of the SAAC stage, and has been integral to a wide range of productions, both onstage and in the technical booth. Recent SAAC productions that he has worked on include “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”; “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”; and “An Evening of Culture.” Jacob graduated from Arkansas State University in 2016 with a B.A. in Technical Theatre and has worked professionally as a theatre resident sound designer and engineer.
SAAC legend Mary Egerer, who has contributed to almost 80 productions, both onstage and backstage, since her SAAC debut as a member of the nuns’ chorus in The Sound of Music in 1966, has joined the team as Co-Costume Coordinator and as Assistant to the Director. Among the dozens of SAAC productions that Mary has worked on, a favorite will always be “Our Town,” in which she first worked with “Steel Magnolias” director Tripp Phillips when she played Mrs. Webb and he was the 11-year-old paperboy Joe Crowell.
Hair and Wig Supervision will be provided by Kati Blanchard and Brandi Lyons, of Possibilities Salon. Both participating in their first SAAC productions, Kati and Brandi are bringing their love of all things beauty to the stage through wigs, makeup, and hairstyling. Felice Lamoreux and Susan Smith have taken on the challenge of Property Supervision in this prop-heavy and time-period-specific show.