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April 1, 2013

EMCC presents debut performance of original play

MERIDIAN —     East Mississippi Community College will present the debut performance of “Interference,” a play by theater instructor Don Vaughan, on Thursday, April 4. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. at the Lyceum auditorium, Golden Triangle campus.

    Vaughan joined the EMCC faculty full-time in 2010.

    “I started writing the play several years ago, primarily as a teaching tool for my theatre appreciation students, and finished it in 2011. I thought the first play in EMCC-GT’s new theater program should be this one,” Vaughan said.

    “So much of it reflects my work at radio stations when I was in college. The story takes place in 1968, a happy time in my childhood, the year one of my all-time favorite radio stations, The Big 98, WKOR-Starkville, first signed on the air. The radio station in the play, KSJH, is The Big 99.”

    “Interference” is about a young woman who takes over her father’s radio station in Hays, Kan., after his untimely death. As the four-act play opens, Susan Hardesty is managing the station and has picked up the sign-on shift once hosted by her father. Things get interesting when a young man at a radio station in Pueblo, Colo., answers her ad for an announcer’s job.

    The cast includes both students and employees of East Mississippi Community College: Laura Beth Berry of Columbus, Victoria Butler of Starkville, Kyle Gurley of Starkville, Jared Leverette of Columbus, Jordan Lewis of Starkville, Cynthia Logan of Starkville, Zach Luther of Jackson, and Sean Manders, Shell Richardson, Dr. Melanie Sanders, Undre Williams and Graham Young, all of Columbus.

    Victoria Butler of Starkville is cast in the lead role of Susan Hardestry. She comes to EMCC with five years of musical theater experience and stage credits in “Guys and Dolls,” “Aladdin,” “Children of Eden,” “Zombie Prom” and “Footloose.”

    “Working with all the new people here at EMCC has been a blast,” Butler said. “‘Interference’ has been a great opportunity.”

    Some cast members have acting experience. Others are making their stage debuts. All agree rehearsing the play has been a learning experience.

    Kyle Gurley of Starkville is a secondary education/English major who plans to teach high school English: “What impressed me the most is the effort we’ve put into putting the whole production together in such a short time.”

    Jared Leverette of Columbus aspires to become a movie star/voice actor: “It’s been a great opportunity, but it has been a challenge getting to where we need to be.”

    Cynthia Logan, an office manager at EMCC, is making her first appearance in a play: “Why should someone come to see the play? I’m in it! However, it is a good story … and every day, we listen to the radio.”

    Vaughan is also directing the play.

    “What my cast and crew are doing looks and sounds like a real radio station. It’s gratifying, to say the least, to see characters that I’ve created come alive onstage,” Vaughan said. “I have such a great cast and crew … and it’s a joy to be directing it.

    His previous theater/communication credits include work with the Starkville Daily News, Starkville Community Theatre, Mississippi State University Communication Department, Wood College, WKOR Radio, WSSO Radio and WTBC Radio (Tuscaloosa). Vaughan and his wife, Sharon, live in Eupora in Webster County.

    Tickets for “Interference” will be available at the door on the night of the performance. Adults, $10. Students under 18, $5. EMCC students and employees admitted free with ID. Questions? Contact EMCC communication instructor Sandra Grych at (662) 243-2630 or sgrych@eastms.edu.

What: Debut performance of “Interference,” a play by EMCC instructor Don Vaughan

When: Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.

Where: EMCC Golden Triangle campus, Lyceum auditorium

Tickets: Adults, $10. Students under 18, $5. Free with EMCC ID.

Info: Call Sandra Grych, (662) 243-2630

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