Red 2015-2016 Season 2015 Summer Theatre Programs


A tale of love, good hair, and the everlasting bonds of friendship

STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling

Directed by Bob Devin Jones
Assistant Director: Sharon E. Scott

Our production of this classic story features an all African-American cast!

Opens Friday, May 23
Closes Sunday, June 15

Special Performances:

“Pay What You Can” Night
Wednesday, May 21 @ 8pm


"You'll laugh and cry with this beautiful tribute to friendship, community and the power of the human spirit." -Chicago Critic

Shelby’s wedding day nears, so the beauty shop ladies of Chinquapin Parrish, Louisiana - delicate as magnolias but tough as steel – have a lot to talk about. From the new assistant who announces, “I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair”, to the town matron who declares, “I'm not crazy…I've just been in a very bad mood 40 years!”…Steel Magnolias is alternately hilarious and touching, sure to be the feel-good hit of the season!

Whitney Drake - Shelby
Perri Gaffney - Ouiser
Brandy Grant - Annelle
Fanni Green - M'lynn
Tia Jemison - Truvy
Erica Sutherlin - Clairee

Read the Previews - Click Below:
Tampa Bay Times Preview by Stephanie Hayes
The Tampa Tribune Preview by Walt Belcher
Watermark Preview by Zach Caruso
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Preview by Jay Handelman
Bradenton Herald by Marti Clear

Read the Reviews - Click Below:

"Steel Magnolias [is] full of warmth…the senses are treated to honey-dipped awareness…[Casting] the play with all African-American women…Under the direction of Bob Devin Jones…feels so natural…Jones has nourished the script with gentle, poignant touches…[Whitney Drake] carries lines with subtlety and charm and finds a natural rhythm with Fanni Green, who plays her mother, M'Lynn…Perri Gaffney plays town crank Ouiser Boudreax with delicious salt, and manages some very real streaming tears…A surprise gem was Brandy Grant as nervous hairstylist Annelle Dupuy…The cast sweetly deploys Steel Magnolias' message that the people you need most are found in the places you least expect." -Stephanie Hayes, Tampa Bay Times

"Steel Magnolias sweet as Southern tea…Gossip, wisdom, laughter, tears and funny lines are shared at Truvy’s Beauty Shop…[Whitney Drake] turns the pink-loving Shelby into a courageous and endearing character…Fanni Green makes an impressive American Stage debut as Shelby’s equally strong-willed mother, M’Lynn…Jemison gives Truvy a lively, likable personality as the wisecracking cosmetologist… [Perri] Gaffney and [Erica] Sutherlin bring their characters to life with style and charm…[Steel Magnolias] is given a new flavor with a black cast under the direction of Bob Devin Jones…[and] delivers a solid performance." –Walt Belcher, The Tampa Tribune

"American Stage's Steel Magnolias, all-black production is a winner…[full of] jokes every few moments…[an] exploration of the ways in which human beings find sustenance in the artificial families they create…[the] last moments rises to the level of sincere drama…[Full] of top actors…Perri Gaffney as Ouiser offers an almost perfect impersonation…Whitney Drake takes on a certain heroism …As her mother M’Lynn, Fanni Green delivers an emotional performance that had some theatergoers in tears…Then there’s Tia Jemison’s performance as Truvy, whose logical mind and good humor make all the others feel welcome…Bob Devin Jones directs with his usual flair, and Greg Bierce’s set of the beauty shop is attractively realistic. Steel Magnolias is a powerful, even heart-rending act of theater." -Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing

What the Patrons are Saying:

"The show was amazing!!!"

"Phenomenal! Better than the movie! A must see!"

"Love the performance, ladies!"

"Thank you for showing the talented Perri Gaffney, who just SLAYED it as Ouiser Boudreaux. Enjoyed the Saturday Matinee!"

"Just got home from Steel Magnolias at American Stage!!! It was fantastic!!!!! What a great ensemble of actors!!!! - Especially my PCCA teacher friend Ms. Erica Sutherlin!!!!! Those who CAN, teach!!!!!"

"Great night at American Stage...saw Steel Magnolias and it's awesome!"

"Saw Steel Magnolias tonight at American Stage. All African-American cast! AMAZING!!! They all were sooo good. They provided a fresh delivery on those familiar lines. Go see it!"

"Loved It! Great cast!"

"The play was amazing!!!!! Whitney Drake my new adopted niece is sooo good!!! Tia Jemison, I always enjoy seeing you."

"extraordinary talent extraordinary Show. what a magnificent cast of actresses. you should take this show on the road."

"...the costume design by Sarah Stark was sublimely befitting for this first rate 1980s period dram-edy."

"Perfect cast. A lot of wet eyes and big smiles leaving the theatre. Brava, ladies!"

"Excellent show. A 'must see'"

"Best show I have seen in awhile! The cast [was] spectacular."

"...a profoundly well done theatrical experience. I may just go see it again."

"Very enjoyable. The ladies were terrific in their roles."

"It's a wonderful show...brilliant acting!"

"This show was beautiful, I couldn't handle all my emotions. I can't wait for the 2014-15 season."

"absolutely great cast! outstanding acting...i got choked up, even though i've seen that movie atleast 10 times. please go see it while you can!!!"

"Excellent show - the cast was amazing!"

"It was awesome!"

Concession Craft Beer Sponsor:


(Click on the sponsor logos to visit their websites)

Click below to watch two of the stars of STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Whitney Drake and
Tia Jemison, as well as the director, Bob Devin Jones, talk about this exciting journey!

2014-2015 Season -
Mainstage Ticket Prices and Performance Times:

Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm. 
Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 3pm

2014-2015 Performance Pricing:
$29 Thursday Previews
$39 Wednesday, Thursday Evenings and Saturday and Sunday Matinees
$49 Friday and Saturday Evenings
$59 Opening Night - includes pre-performance reception

Additional Information
Student Advance tickets are $20. 
Student Rush tickets are $10, 30 minutes prior to curtain.
Senior (adults age 65 and up) and Retired Military Discount - Receive $2 off single tickets.
Artist Discount - Tickets are $20
Active military tickets are FREE with valid I.D. 20% off additional tickets
for friends and family.

To receive one of the above discounts, you must go through our box office. Valid I.D. must be presented to our box office. Only one discount can be used per ticket.
Please contact the box office for further details or questions.

We want to fill our house!
In the event that you are unable to use your tickets, please call our box office 24 hours in advance of scheduled performance. You can exchange your tickets for another performance of the same production. Thank you in advance for your communication so that we can allow as many people as possible to enjoy the show.

American Stage Theatre Company is located at the Raymond James Theatre,
163 3rd Street North in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

For tickets, please call the American Stage Box Office at (727) 823-PLAY (7529) or

Services and Facilities
Physical Accessibility: The theatre features
accessible parking, entrances, restrooms, and seating.
Benefits of a Valid Disabled Parking Permit: Displaying your valid disabled parking permit will allow you to park at City metered spaces for FREE, for as long as your event requires, including those posted with time limit signs (green signs).

Please note: this does not apply to loading zones
or otherwise restricted parking signage (red signs).

Listening System:
Theatregoers may enjoy the
free infrared listening system from any seat.

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