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L.A. Theatre Works will perform 'Steel Magnolias' on Thursday. (Provided via OU Performing Arts and Concert Series)

‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘The Passing Zone’ to show at the Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium

The Performing Arts and Concert Series is bringing two performances to the Ohio University campus this week: Steel Magnolias and The Passing Zone

Steel Magnolias is a production put on by L.A. Theatre Works and is a part of the main series. Inspired by the 1989 film, Steel Magnolias follows six women in their journey as friends through laughter and touching moments. L.A. Theatre Works is famous for its radio productions and bringing live theatre into the homes of millions, but it also tours its shows to perform in front of live audiences, not just the radio. 

Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities, had worked with L.A. Theatre Works before and was thrilled to bring Steel Magnolias to OU.

“There’s lots of touring theater companies in the United States, but I believe there’s just a handful that are the premiere touring companies,” Holzaepfel said. “L.A. Theatre Works is one of those companies that tours shows at the highest level possible. It’s not a fully produced show that people are used to seeing, but it’s a really cool way to do theater and takes a lot of special skills for an actor or actress to articulate the production in this specific setting.”

Steel Magnolias is a combination of the typical radio style and a full production. The show meets in the middle, half a radio type of show and half a production, so it’s more abstract than complete with specific sets and aspects of a show people normally see. 

The Passing Zone consists of two men that combine comedy, stunts, danger and skits. They’ve adjusted the show to be The Passing Zone Saves the World, focusing on relaying a message of protecting the planet through turning chainsaws into dance partners instead of tools destroying rainforests and causing infectious laughter instead of infectious disease. 

Holzaepfel thinks The Passing Zone was the perfect addition for Siblings Weekend and is excited for people to see the performance. 

“We wanted to provide a program that was for all ages,” Holzaepfel said. “We wanted everyone to walk away enjoying no matter if they’re 5 years old or 70 years old. We thought The Passing Zone was a really fun program to show people.”

Students are also looking forward to the performances and think The Passing Zone is a great addition to the main Performing Arts and Concert Series.

Kailey Bordelon, a freshman studying nursing, is excited to see the two shows and support the performing arts on campus.

“I think these shows are going to be really cool,” Bordelon said. “I always love seeing what shows come to campus and love supporting the performing arts because it’s really cool to branch out and experience or see different things that you don’t usually see on a normal day-to-day basis.” 

Olivia Mayernik, a freshman studying communication studies, loved the film Steel Magnolias and thinks The Passing Zone is a great way to have fun during Siblings Weekend.

“I love the movie Steel Magnolias,” Mayernik said. “I think it’s so cool that the movie translates to the stage. I also love the idea of a fun show like The Passing Zone being an event for siblings to go to together during Siblings Weekend. It’s a fun way to bond and watch a comical show for people of all ages.”


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