ETX school brings 'Steel Magnolias' to the stage -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETX school brings 'Steel Magnolias' to the stage

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It's been 24 years since the release of the film "Steel Magnolias". So Spring Hill High School theater director Jacob Justice decided this would be a good time to perform it.

And he had another good reason to do the play. "Steel Magnolias" was written for a good friend of his who promised to come and see it if Justice ever put it on.

Who would have thought "Steel Magnolias" had an East Texas connection? It turns out it does, through Jacob Justice and his friend, Robert Robinson.

"The play that is going on right now at the high school is based on a true story. It was written by my uncle for me as a story after my mother passed away from diabetes in 1987. He wrote as a story just for me, some friends read it, and they said really good story, really good characters here, and why don't you try to turn this into a play. He had never written anything and was living in New York at the time as a starving actor, and he turned it into a play. It ran at the Lucille Lortel Theater for about two and a half years. Herbert Ross, who directed "Footloose" came to him and said I'd love to take this and adapt it into a screenplay to turn it into a film. My uncle was floored, he thought it was amazing. It was a nice tribute that this thing had gone this far, as far as something that had started as a really long letter," Robert explained.

That's how the movie came to be, but what about Jacob Justice who just can't quite bring himself to watch the performance he directed.

"Robert and I went to college together, and he told me he would come up if I would ever do the show, and so I did the show. So he had to. He doesn't come around and visit enough so I better do the show so he'll actually come around," Jacob revealed.

The two changed their majors to Theater the same day, and it turned out pretty well for them. East Texas is connected to "Steel Magnolias". Makes me wonder how many degrees of separation we are from Kevin Bacon.

Spring Hill High School's performance of "Steel Magnolias" ends tonight. There is one more performance this evening. It starts at 6:30. It's five dollars for adults, and three for students.

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