Press Photo by Heather Holty Newton

Soundtrack Saturday #4: Garrison Starr

Happy New Year! There’s no better way to welcome a new year than with a new play. “BYHALIA ROAD” Byhalia Road is an extension of MS Highway 309 that cuts through Byhalia, Mississippi, the setting and title of our play. It’s also a must-hear song by singer-songwriter Garrison Starr off her album The Girl That Killed September. A Hernando, Mississippi native, Starr has released seven …


Alfred ‘Skip’ Robinson and Mississippi in the 1970’s

  The character of Ayesha in Byhalia, Mississippi is extremely proud of her father-in-law Quincy for his participation in the protests in Byhalia in 1974. Detailed in our previous post The Once and Future Mississippi by Donald J Simon, these protests and the ensuing boycott of Byhalia businesses were led by Alfred ‘Skip’ Robinson, founder of the United League of …


Sneak Peek Sunday(ish): October 7th, 2014- Daeshawna Cook

October 7th, 2014 Reading of Byhalia, Mississippi in Chicago The blog catch-up continues with our Sneak Peek Sunday(ish). The following scene between Laurel and Ayesha was performed by Liz Sharpe (Chicago’s Laurel) and Daeshawna Cook. Daeshawna was the first actor to breathe life into Ayesha after Evan decided to scrap Byhalia‘s Act II and start over with a new character. Daeshawna has been seen at …


Soundtrack Saturday(ish) #3: Lucinda Williams

Holiday Break is over and we are barreling on through the final few weeks of rehearsal! “RUBBER ON GRAVEL” This phrase is used ten times in Byhalia, Mississippi either by the characters or in Evan’s stage directions. This sound cue is used to announce an arrival to Jim and Laurel’s house, or sometimes as a cause for celebration when a houseguest who …


The House That John Wilson Built

Set Model: Byhalia, Mississippi (Chicago) by John Wilson   John Wilson: Chicago Set Designer John Wilson has designed more than 100 sets for Chicago stages over the past decade. A native Texan, John was fairly certain he knew what Jim and Laurel’s house looked like during his first conversations with Definition and The New Colony in Chicago.  At the end of the evening, …


Sneak Peek Sunday: LeapFest, July 2015

Sneak Peek Sunday is continuing to look back at some of the great artists who have contributed their talents and time to the play we are unleashing this January. This past summer, these five incredible actors began to fully breathe life into Byhalia, Mississippi at Stage Left’s LeapFest XII in Chicago. This opportunity to stage a workshop production for three performances …


Soundtrack Saturday #2: Real Deal Woman by Samantha Church

Real Deal Woman by Samantha Church Samantha Church is a singer and songwriter currently living in Charleston, SC, home to WPConvo participant Village Repertory Co. Her voice is soulful. Her banjo is powerful. Her lyrics make us blush. We couldn’t think of a better song to introduce the women of Byhalia, Mississippi.             album art …


Village Rep’s Keely Enright introduces Charleston & its Cast

Keely Enright, Producing Artistic Director of The Village Repertory Co.    It is hard to believe that it was April of this year when we first began talks with Evan Linder about co-premiering this new work. Let me repeat that because it is kind of eerie to me. We began making plans in April of 2015 before the fatal shooting …


Memphis: An Interview with the cast of Byhalia, Mississippi

  Jordan Nichols, Director of New Works at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, sat down with some of the cast and crew of Byhalia, Mississippi to find out their thoughts on the rehearsal process and discoveries the cast had made thus far from working on the script.