Melissa Maxwell (left), Adelin Phelps, Austene Van and Nicole King in "Steel Magnolias." Photo by Dan Norman.

The Guthrie Theater canceled its Friday evening performance of “Steel Magnolias” at intermission because one of the six actors in the show got ill during the first act.

A stage manager made an announcement from the stage giving audience members the option of getting refunds for their tickets or exchanging them for another performance.

Citing privacy laws, the Guthrie did not name the actor or give an update of her condition.

The Guthrie rarely, if ever, cancels a performance of a show. The company usually employs external understudies for productions on its 1,100-seat Wurtele Thrust Stage and does so on a case-by-case basis for shows in the 700-seat McGuire Proscenium, where “Magnolias” is taking place, said Marita Meinerts Albinson, the Guthrie’s senior manager of communications.

Written in 1987 by Robert Harling and staged affectingly by Lisa Rothe, “Magnolias” is a play of comedy and heartbreak set in a Louisiana salon where a cross-section of women find community. The play was made into a 1989 film starring Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Julia Roberts.

The Guthrie’s acting ensemble features Nicole King, Melissa Maxwell, Adelin Phelps, Amy Van Nostrand, Austene Van and Sally Wingert.

On Saturday morning, Guthrie officials were evaluating the health of the actor to determine when she would be able to come back to the show. 

Saturday's matinee performance of "Magnolias" went on as scheduled. At the beginning of the show, Wingert announced that Laura Leffler, the production's assistant director, was stepping into the role of usually played by Phelps. 

"We do have a back-up plan ready for the remaining performances this weekend should we need it," the theater said Saturday.

"Magnolias" runs through Dec. 15.

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Correction: Previous versions of the article misspelled Wurtele.