Local thespian no stranger to 'Steel Magnolias'

by ALISON STEWART | REPORTER Published:

"Steel Magnolias" opened Nov. 1 on the Aurora Community Theatre stage and will run weekends through Nov. 23.

It is the second time the local theater has presented the play, and the fourth time Aurora resident Tari Bergoine has appeared in it. She plays Truvy this time after having played Shelby in ACT's 1997 show, Annelle in 1990 in Parma Heights and M'Lynn in 2007 in Chardon.

"People have joked that I might one day end up playing all six roles," said Bergoine. "It looks like it may come true."

Bergoine received a bachelor degree in drama from Marietta College and works full time for Nestle as a business analyst. She has performed at ACT and with several other Northeast Ohio community theaters.

"Growing up, I was always the kid who put on plays in the garage for our neighborhood," said Bergoine. "It's so much fun to put on this play with different people, some who I've worked with before and some who have never been in a play."

The women in this play have their own flaws but are all strong women said Bergoine, adding "I love the lines from the play. I use several of them in my everyday life."

"Steel Magnolias" opened off Broadway in 1987. Two years later, the play was made into a movie starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts.

Barbara L. Rhoades also is returning to direct ACT's reprisal of the play.

"In Truvy's beauty shop, we are privileged to see how the ever-flourishing bonds of friendship enable these wonderful women to share their greatest joys and struggle through their deepest sorrows," Rhoades wrote in the 1997 show program.

Joining Bergoine in the cast this time around are Johnetta Harris as Annelle, Susan Henthorn (Clairee), Sue Cohen (Ouiser), Chris White (M'Lynn) and Macey Staninger (Shelby).

Marianne Paul is producer, Scott Jarvis stage manager, Laurie Lessard is handling lights and Maggie Hamilton heads up sound, while Jean Arbuckle returns with her set expertise from the 1997 show to decorate Truvy's beauty shop.

Marianne Gingras is overseeing costumes, Paul Chechak built the set, Scott Pease is handling photography, Darlene Famageltto is hair consultant, Dorothy Edwards is house manager, Vicki Rizzo Prato is handling hospitality and Laura Nosek is the board liaison.

The 1997 cast so loved the play that they planned a reunion at the Nov. 2 performance.

In addition to Bergoine, those who appeared in the earlier show are Valerie Teller as Truvy, Theresa Babrauckas Benyo-Marzullo (Annelle), Muriel French (Clairee), Dede Klein (M'Lynn) and Tanya Shively (Ouiser).

Others who helped with the earlier show were Ann Carignan, Daniel White, Gay Repella, Rory Swift, Brian Cohen, Joe Caignan, Betsy White, Arbuckle, Susan Kohnz, Don Nolder, Scott Friedler and Rose Daugherty.

Also assisting were Konni Brumbaugh, Vicki Eberhart, Ruth Horton, Lynn Potter, Maureen McEwen, Tracy England, Anne Kaczmarek, Famageltto, Pease, Linda Ryan, Donna Weaver, Pat Pierce, Arlyn Hettinger, Sue Cohen, Jane Morton and Carol Keister.

Tickets are $16 for adults and are available at www.auroracommunitytheatre.com or 330-562-1818.

Email: astewart@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext 4163

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