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.
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.