by Robert Harling
Directed by Barb O’Dell
Truvy Jones runs a successful beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies in the neighborhood have a standing Saturday appointment. Along with her anxious and eager assistant, Annelle, Truvy styles the hair of many of the women about town: wealthy widow and former first lady of Chinquapin, Clairee Belcher, local curmudgeon Ouiser Boudreaux (“I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a bad mood for forty years”), intelligent and compassionate career woman M’Lynn, and her daughter Shelby, the prettiest girl in town. Shelby’s engagement is the talk of the town, but the joy and excitement of her wedding quickly turn to concern as she faces a risky pregnancy and a myriad of health complications. Eventually, when Shelby dies from complications related to her diabetes, M’Lynn has to deal with the most difficult of life’s challenges: the loss of one’s only child. As the women of Chinquapin makes their ways over life’s many hurdles together, they find comfort (and a fair amount of verbal ribbing) in one another. “You have no idea how wonderful you are,” M’Lynn tells the ladies at the end of the play. Truvy responds, with a smile, “Of course we do.”
|Truvy Jones||Female||Late 30s/early 40s||Lead|
|Annelle Dupuy-Desoto||Female||18 to 25||Lead|
|Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie||Female||17 to 21||Lead|
|Ouiser Boudreaux||Female||Late 50s/60s||Lead|
|Clairee Belcher||Female||Late 50s/60s||Lead|
Truvy is in her late thirties to forties and owns a hair salon that is the setting for the play. It is clear that she is vain because of the references she makes about how there is no natural beauty. She is a gossiper and loves to be in everyone’s personal affairs. Truvy is a beautician and loves being in control of whatever the situation may be. Her two sons are Louie, who attends Louisiana State University, and Poot, who is to work with her cousin in Baltimore. She is married to a man named Spud Jones who she describes as a lazy old man. Truvy considers Annelle as a daughter even though they are not related. She also loves listening to others people’s romantic experiences.
Annelle is thought to be eighteen to twenty five. She is new in town and began to work for Truvy because of her need for money. Annelle is a shy and creative individual. She refrains from discussing her life. She does not have a lot of money so she lives in a Ruth Robeline’s boarding house and works as a beautician at Truvy’s salon because she went to a trade school for cosmetology. She is kind and gracious towards the woman she meets in the beauty salon.
Shelby, the youngest female in the play (approximately seventeen to twenty-one years old), is the daughter of M’Lynn Eatenton. She is about to get married to Jackson Latcherie. She has diabetes, but does not want her medical background to define her as a person because she does not want to rely on others. She is a pediatric nurse and she wants to have children. However, it is not recommended for her to have children because of her medical conditions. She has a very youthful feel to her, almost described as child-like. She is seen this way because of the types of hairstyles and colors she chooses to define herself. She wants to have a very romantic and peaceful marriage instead of the hectic relationship that her parents have.
Ousier is an older woman in her late fifties to early sixties. She is seen as bitter and annoyed most of the time. She has a dislike towards Drum Eatenton. In her life, the things she values the most are her dog Rhett and her property. She is constantly arguing with M’Lynn’s husband Drum over property but does have a deep concern with Shelby like all other characters. Even though she speaks poorly to the other women sometimes, she still considers them as her closest companion. She has been married twice and has children.
M’Lynn is the mother of Shelby and of two sons named Tommy and Jonathan. She is around 40 years old. She is also the wife of Drum Eatenton, who she believes is crazy. She is the administrator of the Mental Guidance Center. Her main priority would be her daughter Shelby; she takes great care of her daughter due to her medical issues so she is seen as overprotective. On the surface, she is seen as strong and collective, but deep down she is fragile.
Clairee is the widow of a mayor and the owner of the local radio station. She is seen to be in her late fifties to sixties like Ousier. She is known for her smart mouth and sweet tooth. Even though she puts herself down quite a lot, she always remains playful when a serious topic arises. Out of all the women, she is the only one without any children but she has close ties with her relatives.
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