Student theater director debuts third play

Junior Stephanie Holman’s play “Three Margarets and a Grace” will premiere at Lexington’s Family Theatre April 13 and 14. This marks Holman’s third directorial feature in her 18-year theater career and her first to premiere in Alabama.

Creating a play is a dream come true. Directing three is a career made.

Junior Stephanie Holman’s newest play, “Three Margarets and a Grace,” tells the comedic, yet touching, story of an old woman’s journey to heaven.

The show marks Holman’s third directorial work in her 18-year involvement with theater, as well as her first to premiere in Alabama.

Holman will portray Grace, the main character, who died but must complete a job on Earth before she can get into heaven. Going into a nursing home, she meets three old women, each named Margaret. All the while, an angel is giving her encouragement to complete her goal without telling her the exact task.

“It’s a comedy, but it has a good story (and) good moral to it,” Holman said. “It (also) has a serious side, which usually comedy does.”

The play will premiere at Lexington’s Family Theatre April 13 at 7 p.m.

Vocal performance alumnus William Wade said choosing to premiere the show in Lexington is a good way to represent the Shoals’ artistic legacy.

“There’s a lot of bright history in the Shoals when it comes to the fine arts, and she will do nothing but make it even brighter,” he said.

Holman began writing the play in 2012. She said the idea came from her mother Grace’s time in a retirement home. When she went to visit her one day, she found her sitting at a table with three women, each named Margaret.

“Stephanie knows how to make the story of ‘Three Margarets and a Grace’ come alive, as it’s so funny and realistic,” said Kim Glover, Lexington Family Theatre co-founder and owner. “My hat is off to Stephanie, and we are honored to have a fun Holman play as our inaugural play in our Family Theatre.”

Holman first got involved in the field in 2000 when she helped her daughter produce a play, “Freedom Song.”

She said she found her love for writing plays after visiting the Statue of Liberty on a family trip. After receiving inspiration for a musical, she eventually made her 2003 directorial debut “Bartholdi’s Lady,” a musical focusing on the creation of the statue.

“I’ve always been an artist since I was a kid, but, when (playwriting) came into my life, it was more of a passion,” she said. “When I discovered writing, art took a backseat.”

Her second production was “Lady Bluebeard,” a black comedy dinner theater show that told the story of real-life serial killer, Belle Gunness.

Besides playwriting, Holman has also authored four children’s books, one of which centers around the Jersey Devil, a mythical creature in New Jersey. She is currently planning a stage adaptation.

Tickets for “Three Margarets and a Grace” are available for $10 by calling 208-539-3301 or visiting the UNA Bookstore, Florence/Lauderdale Visitor’s Center and Studio 23.

Refreshments will be available for purchase after the show.