Swamp Gravy is more than just a play – especially for those who participate as part of the cast.
The Swamp Gravy Mission Statement is “To involve as many people as possible in a theatrical experience that EMPOWERS individuals, BONDS the community and STRENGTHENS the local economy while crossing the boundaries of race, social class, age, and gender,” and over the 26 years since Swamp Gravy began, hundreds of talented volunteers have participated in that mission. Along the way, children have grown up on the stage in Cotton Hall, life long friendships have been built, love stories have been written, and, well, life has happened.
“Even if you walk in to auditions a total stranger, you will have made a couple–well, actually quite a few–friends before you walk out the doors of Cotton Hall,” says cast member Crystal Crozier, who joined Swamp Gravy with her daughters in 2017. “That’s just how it is. Everyone is so warm and welcoming. The friendships formed and memories made during Swamp Gravy will last much longer than the season; they will last a lifetime.”
Cast member Jessica Reichard agrees. Her involvement in Cotton Hall first began when her kids auditioned for the 2013 CMAC Youth Production, Honk!, and before long she and her husband Aaron joined them on stage. “Swamp Gravy is a true gift to Southwest Georgia. It is special and unlike anything I’ve ever been part of before. The great thing is that all are welcome and truly embraced as part of the family the moment you walk through the doors,” she says. “Everyone supports each other and encourages each other. It’s amazing that 100 people can be in a room together and truly care for one another the way we do.”
CMAC Artistic Director Will Murdock, who wrote Swamp Gravy: Fourth and Long as well as other recent editions of the production, is particularly excited about this year’s script, which he will also direct. “[This is] a play that has sat in some corner of my brain for years and years. It explores the community built each Friday at small town football field,” Murdock says. “Hundreds of cast members have taken to this stage–and they all had one thing in common–they were willing to pick up the ball and run with it. You don’t have to be a professional actor to be a part. You don’t have to be an athlete or dancer. You don’t need to do cartwheels or sing an aria. You just have to be willing to play around with us.”
Auditions for Swamp Gravy: Fourth and Long continue this evening at Cotton Hall, from 5:30-8PM, and are open to men, women, and children of all ages. “The story is inhabited by players, coaches, cheerleaders, band members, mamas, daddies, and more,” continues Murdock. “Now’s your chance. If you know someone nearby who might be interested, send them our way. If you know someone who hasn’t quite found their place, send them our way. If you know someone who just loves people, send them our way. If you know someone who has a spark in their eyes, but is afraid to step on stage, send them our way.”
“Experience it for yourself,” chimes in Reichard. “We can’t wait to welcome you in!”
Click here for more information about auditions for Swamp Gravy: Fourth and Long.