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Mississippi actor brings Faulkner to Brookhaven

Mississippi actor John Maxwell is bringing his lauded one-man show — “Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?” — to the Enochs Hall Theatre Jan. 27.

MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch is the person responsible for luring Maxwell to Lincoln County, and she said his show is something local theatergoers won’t want to miss.

“He is William Faulkner in this piece,” she said. “It is exceptionally funny and very Southern.”

Maxwell has an ongoing, professional relationship with MSA, and he recently directed the school’s production of “Crimes Of the Heart.” Hirsch said she has been keen to have him perform on campus since first seeing him play Faulkner years ago.

“I want the students to know that he has made a successful living his whole life, living in Mississippi, working as an artist, writer and actor,” she said.

“Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?” is a fictional rehashing of author William Faulkner’s remarkable life. The show includes recollections of Faulkner’s days as a Hollywood screenwriter and colorful insights into his relationship with his family.

The “deeply moving” production ends with a poignant recitation of Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Maxwell has described the show as “a powerful evening of theatre and literature, entertainment and enlightenment.”

Maxwell penned the play alongside Tom Dupree, and it premiered in 1981 at New Stage Theatre in Jackson. Since then, he has performed “Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?” across North America and internationally.

The Jan. 27 performance will follow a 7 p.m. dinner in the Enochs Hall Art Gallery at MSA. Chef Ken Dixon is responsible for the meal, and his menu will include brisket, crab macaroni and cheese and Brussels sprouts.

With only 100 seats available, Hirsch expects tickets to quickly sell out.

Tickets cost $50, and all proceeds go directly to the MSA Foundation. To purchase a ticket, go to www.msabrookhaven.org or call 601-823-1300 for more information.

Photo by Bill Perkins/John Maxwell