EMCC play features local students

From Press Reports

East Mississippi Community College will present the performance of “Interference,” a play by theater instructor Don R. Vaughan on Friday and Saturday in the Lyceum auditorium on the Golden Triangle campus in Mayhew. Curtain time is at 7 nightly.

The play, written by Vaughan, first debuted at the college in 2013.

“There is a lot of peppy music and dancing in the play,” Vaughan said. “I have three characters who portray Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, a group from the 1960s. There is live singing and lip syncing to a couple of numbers. There is also a good bit of dancing to Top 40 music. We had a blast with it in 2013.”

The backdrop for “Interference” is a fictitious radio station in the year 1968. In the play, a young woman has taken over her father’s radio station following his death. Looking to hire an announcer, she places an employment ad that is answered by a former boyfriend she dated nine years earlier.

The cast includes EMCC Humanities instructor Ginny Leonard and nine students: Connor Murphy of Mantee, Hayden Steadman of Mathiston, Ashley Benton of Carriere, Stone Bustin of Caledonia, Greyson Dye of Carthage, Elisabeth Hammond of Sturgis, Kevin Morris of Columbus, Tralanda Norton of Louisville and Heather Thompson of Columbus.

Vaughan, who is directing the play, wears many hats. He also teaches communications classes at EMCC and is the manager for the college’s radio station, WGTC 92.7 FM. Vaughan’s 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).

Another original play, “Eggplant,” that debuted last year at EMCC was co-written by Vaughan and by former “Dark Shadows” and “Gunsmoke” actress Kathleen Cody.

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of “Hope for Tomorrow,” a drama that airs Tuesday mornings on EMCC’s radio station, WGTC 92.7. Vaughan writes the script each week for the broadcast, with the on-air characters portrayed by EMCC faculty members Leonard, Laura Vernon, Laura Beth Berry and Shelley Hebert, and Hammond.

“We are so lucky to have Don,” EMCC Associate Dean of Instruction Gina Thompson said. “He sees possibilities everywhere and is always looking for ways he can open up new educational avenues for our students.”