Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Steel Magnolias - meet cast member Susan Smythe

Tell us about your character.
I play Annelle, who is the only “outsider” since she’s just moved to Chinquapin from a smaller nearby town. We catch Annelle right at a time in her life when she is totally alone and everything is going horribly wrong, so she’s a bit of a mess at the beginning! Thankfully, Truvy takes her in, gives her a job, and pretty much rescues her. 

Throughout the play, Annelle goes through a lot of changes on the road to figuring out who she is (and becoming a Steel Magnolia), and I think she’s able to change, grow and explore mostly due to the solid new “family” she has found in Truvy and the ladies of the salon. Annelle is a very passionate, enthusiastic and loving person who cares deeply for those around her…and also about good hair.

What were some challenges you faced working on this show?
I think the challenge of a “character” role like Annelle is to create a genuine, living- breathing human who is not a stereotype or a caricature. While I certainly want to make sure I hit all the comic notes, I also want the audience to get to know and love the adorable (albeit a little awkward), authentic person that Annelle is.

What do you hope the audience takes away from Steel Magnolias?
Steel Magnolias is all about the power of true friendships. There is a breathtaking amount of strength that comes from supporting one another as women, from building up one another, instead of letting competition or insecurity pull us apart.

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