PACE — Tucked away in a small strip mall on Woodbine Road is the Panhandle Community Theatre. The non-profit group is performing "Steel Magnolias" in their intimate 36-seat theatre Nov. 8 - 11 and 15 - 18.

"I wanted to get out of my comfort zone," Joe Perna said of directing in the southern genre.

Perna an ex-Army medic and retired civil servant has been performing in the theatre for 25 years. Perna was a member of the Ft. Walton Stage Crafters Community Theatre before joining the PCT.

"Acting is my love," Perna said, but he likes the choices available when directing.

The Cast:


Jena Addison as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie
Ingrid Edge as Ouiser (pronounced Weezer) Boudreaux
Rebecca Frazier as M'Lynn Eatenton
Meg Gray as Annelle Dupuy-Desoto
Jennifer King as Clairee Belcher
Angel Ribolla as Truvy Jones

The Robert Harling play is a comedy-drama set in a small-town, beauty shop in northwest Louisiana. It is a heart-warming story of friendship and love, among a group of six women.

According to Country Living Magazine, Harling wrote the play after his sister, Susan died from complications of type 1 diabetes. Susan Harling had married and decided to start a family, despite doctors' concerns that doing so could seriously jeopardize her health. Shortly after giving birth to a baby boy in 1983, her circulatory system and kidneys began to fail. A kidney transplant and dialysis did little to help. She died during minor surgery in 1985, at the age of 33. Afraid his two-year-old nephew would never know who his mother was, Harling started writing.

Steel Magnolias is the second to last performance for the year. The PCT will perform It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Dec. 6-9 and 13-16.

The Panhandle Community Theatre supports itself through performances, donation and membership fees of $25. Membership, among other benefits, reduces tickets to half price for performances. Season passes for the 2019 season are on sell now for $70.

Your purchase of a season ticket entitles you to one ticket to each of the six productions schedule for 2019: "The Dixie Swim Club" by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, James Wooten; "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire; "Plaza Suite" by Neil Simon; "Three Fables" by Robert R. Lehan; "The Haunting of Hill House" by F. Andrew Leslie and "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson.

For more information call 221-7599 or visit panhandlecommunitytheatre.com.