TUPELO • The play “’Night, Mother” earned playwright Marsha Norman the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
“‘Night, Mother” has been a prize winner for Tupelo Community Theatre, too. TCT’s production of Norman’s drama won six awards during the Mississippi Theatre Association’s 2020 Annual Festival.
One of the awards, the Warren McDaniel Award for Best Production, earned TCT a spot in the Southeast Theatre Conference Community Theatre Festival Feb. 28 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Before it goes to Kentucky, TCT will present a celebration performance of “’Night, Mother” on Feb. 22 in its Off Broadway theater. The play’s one-night-only encore starts at 7:30 p.m.
“’Night, Mother,” which was performed this past November at Off Broadway, is a play about a mother and her daughter, their life together and the daughter’s struggles with divorce, a wayward son and illness.
Jennifer Cummings plays Thelma Cates, the mother, and Haley Johnson plays Jessie Cates, the daughter. Cummings won the best actress award and Johnson won best supporting actress at the MTA festival.
In addition to the Best Play and acting awards, the play won for Overall Technical Experience while TCT’s Tom Booth and Christi Houin were honored for Best Scenic Design and a Special Recognition Award for Best Attention to Detail in Design.
“It was honored for the whole show we put together,” said Booth, TCT’s executive director. “We won for overall technical excellence. That means the sound, the lights, and we also won best set. I think (the MTA judges) thought the whole thing was put together very well. The acting was real. The set looked real. You felt like you were in a real home and these people belonged there.”
This is TCT’s 10th trip to represent Mississippi at SETC, winning three times in the past with “Bel Canto” (2004), “The Santaland Diaries” (2014) and “Lone Star” (2015). The latter two were productions from TCT’s Off Broadway venue.
“We have a nice history of success coming out of that smaller space,” Booth said.
Only 100 tickets will be sold for the special “‘Night, Mother” presentation. Tickets are $30, which include food, drinks and the performance. Call the TCT box office, (662) 844-1935, to purchase tickets.