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Currin stars in "Why I Live at the PO" Thursday at MSU

October 5, 2011

By ANGIE CARNATHAN
sdnreporter@yahoo.com

A free performance of the play "Why I Live at the PO," based on the book by Eudora Welty, is showing Thursday at Mississippi State University's McComas Hall main stage theater beginning at 7:30 p.m. A reception sponsored by the communication department will immediately follow the show.
"Why I Live at the PO" is a critically acclaimed one-woman show starring award-winning actress Brenda Currin. It is one of several Maroon Edition events happening at MSU this semester. MSU's Maroon Edition common reading program focuses on the life of Eudora Welty and her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Optimist's Daughter."
Communication Professor and Maroon Edition Selection Committee member Donna Clevinger said she is truly honored to have such an outstanding performer be a part of not only MSU's Maroon Edition, but also the MSU theatre season.
"We are so excited about having Ms. Currin as our guest to our campus and to our theatre program here at MSU," Clevinger said. "She will not only be performing Thursday night but she will be working with our students in their labs and classrooms while she's here."
Noel Polk is a professor emeritus of English and editor of the Mississippi Quarterly, a scholarly journal of Southern culture published by the MSU College of Arts and Sciences, and said he is looking very forward to seeing Currin's performance again.
"I have seen Ms. Currin perform this version of Welty's fabulous story and she is perfectly wonderful in it," Polk said. "She makes the character of Sister come alive in front of us. It's a great moment in the theatre and we are very lucky to have her at MSU to help us celebrate Eudora Welty's work."
Currin began adapting the Welty story for the stage in 1979 with the help of director David Kaplan. She earned early praise for her work from former New York Times critic Frank Rich.
"The actress has tapped right into the writer's stream of consciousness," Rich said. "The words pour out of her like music."
Currin and Kaplan have also adapted Welty's complete body of work into a theatrical homage called "Sister and Miss Lexie," and Currin has also performed in "Music From Spain," which is another of the Kaplan-adapted excerpts of Welty's.
Although she had roles in "Reds," "Taps," "The World According to Garp," "C.H.U.D." and "Life with Mikey," Currin might be best known for appearing as Nancy Clutter in the 1967 movie "In Cold Blood." Currin played the daughter in the adaptation of the Truman Capote novel about a murdered Kansas family.
Currin appeared off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre in New York in "My Sister in this House," for which she was given an Obie Award. According to The Village Voice, the Obie Awards were created soon after the inception of the publication in 1955 to publicly acknowledge and encourage the growing off-Broadway theater movement.
"Why I Live at the PO" is the first performance of the season for the MSU Theatre Department. Other plays this season include "The Liar" by David Ives, "The Little Snow Girl," adapted by Nellie McCaslin, "Dog Act" by Liz Duffy Adams and "Deadwood Dick or, The Game of Gold!" by Tom Taggert, based on the Dime Novels of Edward L. Wheeler.
For more information on this event, contact Dr. Clevinger at (662) 325-4034 or dclevinger@comm.msstate.edu.

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