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Full year ahead for community theater
Roles to fill
Photo 1
Actresses (from left to right) Stacie Eller, Ashlee Farris and Katelyn White run their lines during rehearsal for the production of Steel Magnolias, which will be performed March 6-7. - photo by Photo by Tiffany Stroud

Auditions soon will be under way. The Richmond Hill Community Theatre is looking for actors ages 7 and older to audition for the upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Auditions will be at the Richmond Hill Library from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 22 and 29, and from 2-5 p.m. Jan. 24 and 31. Actors will read from the script at the auditions. Rehearsals will begin in February.
Director Ken Butler said he is looking to cast up to 25 people. This will be his first time directing a play.
“The play is closer to the L. Frank Baum adaptation,” Butler said. “This show is family friendly. For those who grew up on the original story, this play will have a little modern twist.”
“This Wizard of Oz” will be performed May 1-2, at the John W. Stevents Wetlands Education Center in J.F. Gregory Park. Tickets will be sold at a later date.
Until then, actors already are practicing for the upcoming production of “Steel Magnolias.”
“My cast list was posted on Oct. 30, and we rehearsed two hours once a week during the months of November and December,” director Hilary Diebold said. “For January and February, we will have rehearsal twice a week for a total of four to five hours per week.”
“Steel Magnolias” has a six-person, all-female cast including Stacie Eller, Katelyn White, Debra Stewart-Hollis, Emily Speer, Amber Jones and Ashlee Farris. Brittany Miller is the production stage manager.
“The characters in ‘Steel Magnolias’ are examples of inspiring women who are funny as-all-get-out and strong as steel,” Diebold said. “These characters are extremely relatable. An audience member might look at a character and easily think of someone in their family, a neighbor, a community member or a best friend. This play is about the journey that is life and the friendships that get you through it.”
This will be Diebold’s eighth time directing a play with the Richmond Hill Community Theatre.
“For many years, I hoped to bring Robert Harling’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ to life. He perfectly captures the banter amongst a group of caring friends, and I was lucky enough to cast a group of women who fit their roles perfectly,” Diebold said. “My favorite part of directing this show is bonding and laughing with my cast and crew. I believe that is exactly what Robert Harling would want to see.”
“Steel Magnolias” will be performed on March 6-7, at the wetlands center. Showtime will be at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $8 for students and military. Presale tickets will be available Feb. 23. Tickets can be purchased from any cast or crew member or, for more information, find the Richmond Hill Community Theatre on Facebook.
Diebold took a directing class at Georgia Southern University in 2009 and started directing with her theater department at school. She grew up participating in Richmond Hill Community Education Drama, and she acted in nine Georgia Southern University productions.
“My hope is to share my knowledge and passion for theater with my hometown,” Diebold said. “Now, I am an eighth-grade ELA teacher at Richmond Hill Middle School, and I co-sponsor our drama club. I love teaching theater to my middle-school students, and I am honored to direct for the Richmond Hill Community Theatre.”

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