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Theatre at the Center announces the cast of Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias
From left: Myesha Tiara as Annelle, Cory Goodrich as M’lyn, Landree Fleming as Shelby, and Heidi Kettenring as Truvy in Theatre at the Center’s production of Steel Magnolias. (Photo: Guy Rhodes)
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MUNSTER, Ind. (January 5, 2018) – Cory Goodrich in the role of M’Lynn, Landree Fleming as Shelby, and Heidi Kettenring as Truvy lead the cast of Theatre at the Center’s Steel Magnolias with Joslyn Yvonne Jones as Ouiser, Jeannie Affelder as Clairee, and Myesha-Tiara as Annelle. Previews begin February 22 with Opening Night on February 25 for the run through March 25.

The play

Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling, is a hilarious and heart-warming play set in a Louisiana beauty shop. It follows the hopes, dreams, triumphs, and tragedies of six colorful characters. It explores the bond between a mother and daughter, and friendships of those who feel like family. The play inspired the 1989 film that starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Dolly Parton.

“Before Steel Magnolias became an iconic film and garnered an Academy Award for Julia Roberts, it was a funny and touching Off-Broadway play about the bonds of friendship and family,” said Theatre at the Center Artistic Director Linda Fortunato, who will direct this new production of Steel Magnolias.

“I believe our audiences will laugh and cry with these ladies and find a connection to their own lives as well.”

The players

Cory Goodrich returns to Theatre At The Center (TATC) for her 13th production, having previously appeared in Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. She won a Jeff Award for her role of June Carter in Ring of Fire and another Jeff Award for her role as Mother in Drury Lane’s production of Ragtime. As a singer/songwriter, Cory has four solo albums.

Landree Fleming is returning to TATC where she was last seen in Godspell and The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee. She has worked at Drury Lane, Paramount, and Chicago Shakespeare, among other Chicagoland theaters, and is a member of the comedy group Off Off Broadzway.

Heidi Kettenring returns to TATC where she was seen in Annie Warbucks, I Do! I Do!, and Here’s Love! She is a Jeff Award winner in addition to having received several Jeff nominations, the Sarah Siddons Chicago Leading Lady Award, an After Dark Award, and the Richard M. Kneeland Award.

Joslyn Yvonne Jones has appeared in Once On This Island at Marriott Lincolnshire, Weekend at TimeLine Theatre, and Escape at Live Bait Theatre. She now makes her TATC debut.

Jeannie Affelder has appeared in Silent Sky at First Folio and The Little Flower of East Orange at Eclipse, which earned her a Jeff Nomination for Best Actress. She is also making her TATC debut, as is Myesha-Tiara, who has been seen in The Wedding Band at The Artistic Home and Netflix & Kill at the Pride Arts Center. She was featured in the film 12 Years a Slave.

The director

Linda Fortunato is director of Steel Magnolias. Fortunato has been involved with more than a dozen shows at TATC; her directing credits include Big River, The Tin Woman, Cabaret, Annie Warbucks, and A Christmas Story. She was choreographer for Spamalot, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You, and Fiddler on the Roof. Her performance credits include Lend Me a Tenor and The Diary of Anne Frank. Fortunato has been nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work as a choreographer and director. She received both the Equity and Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Outstanding Choreography, including garnering Theatre at the Center its first Jeff Award for her choreography of 42nd Street.

The creative team

The creative team for Steel Magnolias includes Scenic Designer Greg Pinsoneault, Lighting Designer Michael Trudeau, Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wig Design and Hair Design by Kevin Barthel, Prop Design by Brittney O’Keefe, and Sound Design by Barry Funderburg. Stage Manager is Jessica Banaszak.

Fortunato as TATC’s Artistic Director is teamed with Richard Friedman as General Manager and Ann Davis as Head of Production.

The venue

Founded in 1991, the 410-seat Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home: The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown-caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking.

Performances are 2:00pm Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30pm Fridays; 3:00pm and 7:30pm on Saturdays; and 3:00pm on Sundays, with select Thursday and Sunday night performances. Individual ticket prices range from $42–46. To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or at 800-511-1532. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more, and gift certificates are also available. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit

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Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.