A&M-Texarkana students to perform ‘The 51 Percent: A Drama for the Modern Economy’


The Texas A&M University-Texarkana drama program will stage an original production, “The 51 Percent: A Drama for the Modern Economy,” April 28-30 in Eagle Hall of the University Center on the A&M-Texarkana campus, 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

The play is written and directed by Dr. Brian Billings, associate professor of English and director of the university’s drama program.

“‘The Fifty-one Percent’ is based upon interviews I conducted in Texarkana last summer and early last fall. People from all walks of life shared their struggles with the recent recession and its aftermath, and I combined these disclosures to create a domestic drama,” explained Dr. Billings.

“The dramatic conceit is that the main character deals with the frustrations that his family causes by reinventing these frustrations as psychological projections in the shape of folkloric characters. These projections give voice to concerns that he cannot otherwise express. He must deal with his family in the real world and the story characters in his subconscious. I think that people who attend the play will hear some recognizable sentiments.”

Those portraying humans include Ellen Allard as recently widowed Beira “Gran” Briley, Lauren Ort as picture-book artist Dione Briley, Grayson Cauley as English professor Eoman Briley, Cameron Pierce as college student Kuanikio “Kio” Briley, Vincent Lobdell as Lugh Briley, Katharae Patterson as Thalia “Lia” Briley and Cambresha Knight as Teresa La Fuente.

Story folks are Hollis Thompson as goblin Hobyah, Rachel Horne as Luke and Momma Rockhide, and Corinne Billings as hermit Old Mean Eye.

“The 51 Percent” is part of the Program for Learning and Community Engagement, a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

PLACE’s goal is to expose its community of learners to a diversity of ideas from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. This year’s theme is “Economic Opportunity.”

General admission is $8.

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