A stellar cast of six women perform in the production directed by New Frontier Theatre founder Bennett Gale beginning June 19 in McCloud. Bennett also discusses his hopes for the future of the three-year old theater company.

New Frontier Theatre Company is bringing the awarding winning play “Steel Magnolias,” which was also made into an Academy Award nominated movie, to Mt. Shasta area venues beginning June 19 in at the Mercantile in McCloud.

A stellar cast of six women perform in the production directed by New Frontier founder Bennett Gale.

“It’s heart. A play about family, love and friendship,” Gale said. “The play is largely written in comedic fashion with dramatic content. It’s funny, witty and entertaining. We hope you leave with a tear in your eye and a smile in your heart.”

Gale said the play revolves around the women, ranging in age from 19 to 60-something, while they are in a Louisiana beauty parlor discussing their lives, loves, friendships and problems. “Everything from local gossip, sex, marriage, their intimate lives and child bearing,” he said.

Written by Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias ran on Broadway for more than 1,000 performances to great reviews after it opened in 1989.

In a review of a 2010 revival of the play, Tom Williams of Chicago Critic called it “a touching group portrait of women that celebrates their strength without being sentimental. It appreciates humor and irony without being patronizing. The play is charming yet powerful with laughs.”

Gale said the three year old New Frontier Theatre Company is looking forward to having a permanent home in the future, an expanded presence in the community and a draw for tourism.

“We’re negotiating with two possible venues for theater space in McCloud and Mount Shasta,” Gale said. “We want to set up smaller theater for next year and then a repertory company.”

Gale explained that a repertory company “would have a number of shows running concurrently. Someone spending several days in our area could see three shows. We would like to engage a significant amount of tourism. People take theater vacations.”

He said his vision for a New Frontier venue could include music, speakers and other art expressions.

“We would like to be a performing arts center, a self sustaining cultural center,” Gale said.

His plans include acting and film classes and a “film entertainment educational catalogue. A film of Scrooge would include historical content about the era, Dickens’ life and technical aspects,” Gale said.

Steel Magnolias is scheduled to open June 19 at 7 p.m. at McCloud Mercantile, 241 Main Street.

The production then moves to the College of the Siskiyous Black Box Theater June 26 and 27 at 7 p.m., June 28 at 2 p.m., July 2 and 3 at 7 p.m., July 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. and July 12 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. They are available at Village Books in Mount Shasta, Weed Chamber of Commerce and from the New Frontier website: www.newfrontiertheatrecompany.com.