Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date March 20, 2008

For More Information: Pat O’Brien at 901-333-4021


Noted Playwright Comes to Southwest’s Production of One of Her Most Famous Plays

“A Star Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hole in Heaven” is Judi Ann Mason’s drama of Pokie Cotton, a country girl from Louisiana entangled in a heart breaking dilemma. Pokie has to decide whether she will go off to college in the North or stay in her poverty-ridden hometown and take care of her blind uncle and sickly aunt. It’s a life changing decision and Pokie, “a good girl at heart,” wrestles throughout the show with a decision that will affect the rest of her life. Pokie has won a scholarship to a college in Ohio, but if she accepts it, the fragile, childless aunt and uncle who raised her will be left alone on their Louisiana farm. More heart rending is the problem of leaving her little rural community.

Directed by Southwest’s Levi Frazier Jr., assistant professor of Fine Arts, Languages and Literature, A Star Ain’t Nothin…’ features a cast of students from throughout the College, headed by Tenika Covington and Odessa Lewis. It opens March 27 and runs through March 29. Curtain time each night is 8 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

MUCH-AWARDED AUTHOR FLYING IN FOR THE PLAY

Noted author Judi Ann Mason will fly in from Los Angeles, CA to be in the audience for the run of the show, and on opening night will be presented an outstanding achievement award by the Southwest Theatre Club recognizing her contributions to theatre. She will speak to the Southwest community on March 28 at 1:30 p.m. in the Union Avenue Theatre about the play as well as her work in theatre, television and film.

At 19, Mason began her professional writing career as a drama student at Grambling University in Louisiana when she was awarded the Norman Lear Award for Comedy from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the American College Theatre Festival. She became the first and only two-time winner in Festival history when she won The Lorraine Hansberry Award for the Best Play on the African American Experience the following year. In 1978, she became the youngest playwright ever presented by the world-famed theatre company. Invited by Norman Lear to join his staff in 1979, she wrote several episodes for Good Times and other scripts for Sanford and America 2-Nite.

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