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Steel Magnolias
Conner takes a lead role in BCC theater production
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Barton Community College sophomore Joy Conner used to be shy.  Thanks to her involvement with theater, her shyness is a thing of the past. She’ll be portraying the role of Truvy Jones in the Barton Theater production of “Steel Magnolias,” a role made famous by Dolly Parton in the Hollywood movie.  Barton Theater will present the play at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25-27 in the Fine Arts Auditorium.
Conner always wanted to be in theater; after all, her mother and father were both interested in it, and it interested her.  She admitted that she was just too much of a “chicken” to get involved until her freshman year of high school.
“Theater was a way for me to break out of my bubble,” she said.  “I’m not shy anymore, so it has helped me.”
Conner participated in theater all through high school and decided to continue to pursuing it as a career.
“I couldn’t decide what I want to be when I grew up, so I decided to be something that allows me to be a lot of different things,” she said.
As a theater major at Barton, Conner said she has been allowed to blossom as a performer.
“I have gotten to play a lot of different roles,” she said.  “We did a lot of comedies in high school.  At Barton, we’ve been doing more serious roles and it has really broadened my horizons.”
Conner said going to school at Barton allowed her hone her craft and explore other aspects of theater besides performing.
“It’s a really fun environment,” she said. “It’s on a smaller scale so you get parts, whereas if you go to a larger school there are tons of people and a lot more competition. It’s harder to get cast. You also get to experience a little bit of everything and learn tech stuff and how to do your make-up because it’s on a smaller scale.”
Conner is a fan of the “Steel Magnolias” movie and is equally fond of the theater adaptation.
“It’s really fun to get to see how the characters behave and the gossip in the shop,” she said. “It’s a really funny show but has its serious moments.”
While her time at Barton may be coming to a close after this semester, Conner plans to continue her theater career at a university in Texas and enter the industry via the Austin theater scene and continue performing or working as a production assistant.
The play was written by Robert Harling and is being presented with special permission by Dramatist Play Service Inc. All tickets are general admission.  Ticket price is $7 at the door. Students are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 620-792-9391.