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10 Questions with Steel Magnolias Director Valerie Planche

10 Questions with Steel Magnolias Director Valerie Planche

Valerie Planche has had her work seen at Theatre Calgary as both an actor and director. Her directing credits at TC include 2016’s Bad Jews and 2017’s Skylight. Her acting credits include Blow Wind High Water, The Crucible, Liberation Days, Major Barbara, A Christmas Carol (six productions), Much Ado About Nothing (two productions), Timothy Findley’s The Wars, Cyrano de Bergerac, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Amadeus.

1. First play or musical you remember seeing?

Shirley MacLaine at Place des Arts in Montreal was the first cabaret show I saw with my mom and my sister. My first play was Harry Stanjowski in a Noh theatre piece he created on the stage at Theatre de Neuveau Monde again in Montreal. I wept at both shows.

2. What was the first show you ever performed in and where?
I was the director of Little Red Ridinghood in a grove of cedars in my neighbours yard. I performed in Sleeping Beauty as the witch! I was scary!

3. Secret Talent?
Building rock walls, I can also knit without looking at my needles!

4. Favourite play and why?
There are so many! The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis plunges us into examining our biases and judgements. It pulls down icons and makes them relatable in poignant and brutally funny ways. Soulless by Aaron Bushkowski is a thrilling psychological drama that examines the glorification of the individual and how progress leaves people behind.

5. Favourite musical and why?
Cabaret is a no brainer for me because it seems to offer something to every age with its examination of class structures.  BUT Book Of Mormon… I’ve never directed a musical but I’d love to try this one.  It made me laugh out loud and so ‘uncomfortablely’….if that’s a word.

6. What play or musical do you dream of directing?
See answers 4 and 5!

7. If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Just one?? Hardnose the Highway by Van Morrison or Aretha Franklin’s Jump!

8. What are three things you can’t live without?
Water (I always have my water bottle), gardening or flowers, and sunlight.

9. Manicure or pedicure?
Both, with massage, and shellac! A rare treat.

10. What 3 people living or dead would you like to make dinner for?
Tom Waits, Madeline Albright, and Mel Brooks.

Steel Magnolias runs at Theatre Calgary from March 8 - April 3, 2022.