Steel Magnolias is a stage play by American writer Robert Harling, based on his experience with his sister's death. The play is a comedy-drama about the bonds between a group of women in Northwest Louisiana.
"These women are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel"
In 1985, Robert Harling's sister died from diabetic complications after the birth of her son, and the failure of a family member's donated kidney. A friend suggested that he write about his experience to help him come to terms with it.
He did so, originally as a short story to give his nephew an understanding of the child's deceased mother. This eventually developed into a play performed Off-Broadway before being adapted for the Steel Magnolias movie (1989) that we all know and love, with wonderful performances by an all star cast Sally Field, Shirley McLean, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts , Darryl Hannah and Dolly Parton.
Villanova Players first produced the play in 1995, directed by Stephen Collins. The cast included Glynne Liddy as M'Lynne, Lisa Cannon as Shelby and Jill Cross as Ouiser.