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5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693

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737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322

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901/333-STCC *

DATE: February 7, 2002
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Marilyn Duncan, 901/333-4247

Southwest to Present Nigerian Satire, The Trials of Brother Jero;
One-Act Play will Feature Student Cast

The Fine Arts, Languages and Literature Department at Southwest Tennessee Community College will present its version of The Trials of Brother Jero, a work of the Nobel Prize - winning Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka, at 8 p.m., March 7-9. The performances will be held in the Union Avenue Campus Theater, 737 Union Avenue, Union and Manassas. This event is free and open to the public.

The Trials of Brother Jero takes a satirical look at charismatic religious leaders in Nigeria during the early 1960s. Since then, Soyinka has spent two years in solitary confinement for his political expressions and was banished from his homeland.

Ron Gephart, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Languages and Literature, is directing the production. He said the one-act play will feature an all-student cast.

"Perhaps for the first time in Memphis, an African play by an indigenous African writer is being presented on a Memphis stage," Gephart observed. "I am really excited about this undertaking by our students."

Marquis Johnson heads the cast as Brother Jero. Laytoya Baker plays the role of Jero's nemesis, Amope. Antonio Murphy portrays Amope's henpecked husband, Chume, who is also a devoted follower of Jero. Others in the cast include Jennifer Wright, James Monroe and James Oates.

Several other Southwest students portray Jero's congregation and neighbors. Sheila Hutchins, an adjunct instructor at the College, designed the set, and former Southwest faculty member, Robert Duke, is responsible for the lighting.

For more information about this historic play, call the College at 901/333-5159.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.