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Pictured: Allison Crawford; Performed: 19-23 November 1992; Edward Albee's "The Death of Bessie Smith" was presented by the department of drama. Bessie Smith, the "Empress of the Blues," was the highest paid Black entertainer of her day. After a decline in her career she made a remarkable comeback in 1937 only to be cut short by a fatal accident. The director was Susan McCain, scenic designer was Carlton Ward, costume designer was Joyce Tate, lighting and sound designer and technical director was David Keefer, stage manager was Shane Smith, assistant stage manager and props was Mishia Burns, musical director was Myrtice Jackson-Fields, assistant musical director was Greg Hucks, box office manager was Jan Rhodes, light board operator was John Daniels, sound board operator was Shannon DeWitt, poster and program design and poster adaptations was Kirstin Mitchell, props was Todd Edwards, hair dresser was Allen Reynolds, wardrobe mistress was Annette Conner, research assistant was Paula Buchanon, ushers were Alpha Psi Omega, box office staff were Amber McPherson and Kimberly Kinsey. The cutter/draper was Freddy Clements and the costume crew were Allen Reynolds, Annette Conner, Todd Shumpert, Beth Tate, Ginger Cusimano Kelley Pentecost, Amanda Ennis, Veronica Cook, Craig Holman, Kathryn Polka, Steve Womble, Jennifer Jacobs. Prop master was Laura Pickette and the set crew were Chris Abernathy, Annette Conner, Virginia Cusimano, Laura Duke, Shannon DeWitt, Shaney Duncan, Lincoln Higdon, Jeff Klevorn, Barry Newell, A.J. Richards, Camisha Thomas, Travis Oliver, Dexter Briggs, Chris Steward, Kelly Anderson, Tracy Gamble, Scott Smitherman. This item is contained within the Theatre & Film Production Archive.


This performance was held in the Stone Center Theatre.


  • Zach Straughter -- Bernie
  • Yusuf Al-Amin -- Jack
  • Terry Gosdin -- Father
  • Allison Crawford -- Nurse
  • Brian Netter -- Orderly
  • Annette Lackey -- Second Nurse
  • Todd Shumpert -- Intern
  • Antjuan Oden -- Understudy - Jack
  • Myrtice Jackson-Fields -- Vocalist
  • Brian Netter -- Pianist
  • Kevin Harry -- Trumpet/Coronet
  • Tim Chase -- Special Performances


The original items are located in the Library’s Alabama Gallery Special Collections.


Jacksonville State University -- History, College students -- Alabama, Jacksonville State University -- Students, College and school drama


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Jacksonville State University -- History, College students -- Alabama, Jacksonville State University -- Students, College and school drama