Welty's 'Why I Live at the P.O.' takes stage

Award-winning actress Brenda Currin appears this week at Mississippi State in the critically acclaimed stage production of "Why I Live at the P.O."

Adapted from the works of Mississippi author Eudora Welty, the free program begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 on the university's McComas Hall main stage. The production and a reception to follow in the lobby are sponsored by the communication department.

The one-woman show is among several events surrounding MSU's Maroon Edition common reading program, which this year focuses on Welty's life and her Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Optimist's Daughter."

"What a treat to have such an outstanding performer be part of MSU's Maroon Edition as well as be a part of our theatre season," said communication professor Donna Clevinger, who helped arrange Currin's visit.

In 1979, Currin and director David Kaplan began adapting the Welty short story for the stage. Former New York Times critic Frank Rich praised her performance, saying, "The actress has tapped right into the writer's stream of consciousness. The words pour out of her like music."

"Sister and Miss Lexie" is Currin's and Kaplan's theatrical homage to Welty's complete body of work. She also has performed Kaplan-adapted excerpts of other works by the late Jackson resident, including "Music From Spain," among others.

Currin is best known for her performance as Nancy Clutter, the daughter in the 1967 movie "In Cold Blood," an adaption of the Truman Capote novel about a murdered Kansas family. Her other films include "Reds," "Taps," "The World According to Garp," "Life with Mikey," and the cult classic "C.H.U.D."

She won an Obie Award for "My Sister in This House," performed at the off-Broadway Second Stage Theater in New York. Along with regional theater work, she has collaborated on original pieces and adaptations as an actor, writer and director.

"Why I Live at the P.O." is among several productions sponsored this season by Theatre MSU, a program of the communication department.

In addition to theater, the department offers academic concentrations in broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, and public relations.

For more information on this event, contact Dr. Clevinger at 662-325-4034 or dclevinger@comm.msstate.edu.

Harriet Laird | University Relations

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