49th season of Tech Players kicks off with Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias

The 49th season of the Tech Players kicks off with this month’s production of Robert Harling’s popular comedy Steel Magnolias.

The play explores the universal value of friendships through the interaction of six female characters who come together in the setting of their local beauty shop, and the TTU production consists of both new and veteran actresses who come from both the university and the community.

“In recent years, our casts have been predominantly made up of students, but it’s great for those young actors to work with more seasoned performers, and this play provides the perfect mix,” said Mark Creter, artistic director of the Backdoor Playhouse.

Just because the cast is all female, though, doesn’t mean Steel Magnolias is just for a female audience, Creter said. He thinks its wide popularity will appeal to virtually everyone.

“This show is definitely one you can bring the whole family to see,” he said. “In fact, I’ve found that I completely relate to the characters and the way they use their sense of humor to overcome life’s tragedies. I think I appreciate the play even more after discovering that connection.”

The 49th season of the Backdoor Playhouse also introduces new admission rates that could attract higher numbers of students, who for the first time ever can get in free simply by showing their university identification cards.

“What a director wants to see more than anything is his show playing to a packed house every night, and being able to provide quality plays to students at no charge will help make that possible,” he said.

The show — presented in partnership with the TTU English department and produced in arrangement with Dramatists Play Service — begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 18, 19, 20, 23, 26 and 27 at the Backdoor Playhouse, located at the rear of the Jere Whitson Building. It begins at 10 p.m. on Sept. 22 and 25.

Tickets for the show, a Center Stage event, are $8 for general admission, $6 for senior citizens, $4 for non-TTU students and $3 for employees at TTU Employee Appreciation Night on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

For more information, call the Backdoor Playhouse box office at 372-6595.