Arts and Entertainment

Lakewood drama students serve up a taste of the South

Britney Martin’s character dishes out some down-home truths in the Lakewood High School auditorium on May 3. - Kirk Boxleitner
Britney Martin’s character dishes out some down-home truths in the Lakewood High School auditorium on May 3.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood High School Drama Department will be bringing a taste of Southern-fried culture to their auditorium this month, when they stage two weekend showings of “Steel Magnolias” as a student play.

LHS seniors Tasha Bartol, Karen Christiansen and Britney Martin will be joined by juniors Kristina Ryan, Kaitlin Jones and Melody Costley in recreating the famous cinematic classic of female bonding in hair salons, and according to drama teacher Rebecca Winsor, it’s already been a rewarding experience for all involved.

“The last time I staged this play was in 1999 in Chesapeake, Va.,” said Winsor, a self-described “li’l ol’ Southern gal” who’s since made the Pacific Northwest her home. “I used tapes of my own Southern accent to help the girls get a feel for it, so that they can stay in character and maintain their accents through the play.”

Although some of the girls have struggled not to let their accents drop at certain points, Winsor praised them all for doing very well, and singled out Bartol in particular for the authenticity of the Southern drawl that she’s created.

“Tasha hasn’t had any problems,” Winsor said. “I spotted her two years ago in one of my classes and knew that I wanted to work with her. All of these girls have been great to work with. They’re very capable, reliable and talented.”

Winsor has had plenty of time to develop a rapport with her performers, since three of them have worked with her for three years on school plays, and Jones is the only student whom Winsor hadn’t worked with before “Steel Magnolias.” After auditions on March 7-8, the cast hit the ground running with rehearsals starting March 10.

The LHS Drama Department will perform “Steel Magnolias” starting at 7 p.m. on May 13, 14, 20 and 21. While the play alone runs for $7 a ticket, or $5 with an ASB card, the May 21 showing offers a tasty bonus. Those who show up to the LHS auditorium that night at 5:30 p.m. and pay $25 per ticket will be treated to dinner and a show, courtesy of Church Lady’s Catering, which is run by Christiansen’s mother. Those who pay for the 5:30 p.m. dinner will receive front-row seating for the 7 p.m. show, and will get to choose from a menu of authentic Southern cuisine including barbecued chicken.

The LHS auditorium is located at 17023 11th Ave. NE in Arlington.

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