Local playwright, C. Stefan Morrisette has long believed that his tale of love and life in Magnolia Springs was destined for nothing short of Broadway.
After a sold out run at South Baldwin Community Theatre in March, the production, Magnolia or The House at the Head of the River, is heading to a nearly sold out encore performance in Foley.
From there, the journey for this cast and crew is simply limitless.
The show unravels the story of feisty Granny T, a Southern lady well into her late 90s, who travels from her home in Chicago with her 20-something granddaughter to visit the stately, Southern house where she spent her childhood. The women struggle with generational differences.
Granny T’s beloved childhood home is now a rundown bed and breakfast whose owner the women find difficult to endure. The visit turns into a journey through time as Granny T recalls internal struggles, broken hearts and lives changed through a series of flashbacks to the home in the 1930s and 40s.
As the clock ticks forward and back, Granny T and her contemporaries deal with issues of love, loss, PTSD, and spousal abuse. The young granny finds courage, self-worth and love as she leaves a man she has been betrothed for true love.
Even with seven performances, tickets were hard to come by in the initial run. Audiences clamored for more and moaned that they had missed the show’s world premiere.
Morrisette said the cast and crew banded together and asked him to consider another run.
Now, Magnolia, is being presented by Epic Lasering and Comprehensive Creatives, LLC. It has also been endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission as an official event of the state’s 200th birthday celebration.
“We would love to take this to more Alabama theatres before the bicentennial closes to bring light to this house and the small community of Magnolia Springs,” Morrisette said.
And if you are a fan, you may want to nab tickets now. The two-night run proves to be even better than the first.
“So far we have been in rehearsals for two weeks and it’s as if we never had any time apart,” Morrisette said. “We’re finding ways to better present the story through these characters.
“This is now close to six months of people living these characters so they’re coming up with great suggestions and great little quirks to add to these characters to better tell the story,” he said.
Morrisette said he is still overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to the tale he spent years crafting.
“It’s still very surreal that people were able to relate to these characters so much that they want to see them again and spend time with them,” he said. “It’s overwhelming in the best way.”