Theater presents 'Steel Magnolias'


Last updated 10/17/2023 at 10:10am

Photo by Stephen Saunders

Cheryl Pellerin (left) as Ousier and Wilma Keller as Clairee, performing in "Steel Magnolias."

When Sisters' resident Cheryl Pellerin was a young girl she used to put on shows in her garage because she loved being on stage. In adulthood, she moved on up to community theater, performing in numerous productions in Orange County, Calif. Although she and her husband retired to Sisters in 2020, she won't be retiring from the stage anytime soon. Beginning October 19, she can be seen in her first local play, Silent Echo Theater Company's (SETC) production of "Steel Magnolias."

"Steel Magnolias" is a poignant story about grief and a community of people who provide strength and humor along the way. It was written by Robert Harling and is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana. The play is based on Harling's diabetic sister.

Karen Sipes will direct the Sisters rendition and will feature Pellerin as Ousier as well as Central Oregon actors Megan Flanagan, Brittany Lampe, Wilma Keller, Jaimie Speed, and Constance Currie.

"I'm impressed with all the women in the cast. They are incredibly talented, and it's an honor to be part of telling the story," Pellerin, who recently joined the SETC Board of Directors, said.

Some of Pellerin's favorite past characters include playing Bella in "Lost in Yonkers," "Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire," and Gretchen in "Boeing Boeing." She also has performed stand-up and improv comedy and recently directed a one-act play for SETC's "Now You're Talking" one-acts.

She finds, however, she is drawn to acting and playing humorous roles. They are the most enjoyable characters.

"She (Ousier) is the comic relief of a very serious subject. She has humor and an over-the-top personality with a hard sell, but it is her warm heart that appealed to me in playing a character like that," Pellerin said.

"Steel Magnolias" is SETC's first full-length play since its incorporation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2016. It will be performed at Sisters Middle School, 15200 McKenzie Hwy. The group has produced evenings of one-acts, cabarets, comedy nights, and play readings and has rented various business spaces to bring those events to the community. Being able to rent Sisters Middle School has made it possible for the group to produce a full-length play, Marla Manning, SETC's producing artistic director said.

The plays will run October 19-29 with performances Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Following the Sunday, October 22 show, Dr. Kevin Miller will talk about diabetes and answer questions. Dr. Miller is a cofounder of Diabetes and Obesity Care in Bend.

Tickets are available online at and at the door, general admission is $30, seniors (62-plus) and students are $25. For more information visit


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