Area author Brown to be honored at MMI

Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On Saturday, March 20, Marion Military Institute (MMI) and Judson College will present “Ashes of Roses,” an original play written by Dr. Norman McMillan, based on the stories of Mary W. Brown, the 1987 PEN/Hemingway Award winner.

The evening will begin at 6:30 with a garden reception hosted by Col. and Mrs. Mollahan at the President’s Quarters, with an art exhibit by Buffy Rinehard Taylor from Greensboro on the MMI campus.

The 8 p.m. theatrical performance is being held at the Judson College Alumnae Auditorium. The Troy University jazz studies professors will begin their Hal Kemp concert at 7:30 p.m. Kemp was born in Marion in 1904, and his orchestra reigned supreme both at home and abroad in live performances, on the radio and in the movies.

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“We are excited to honor Mary Ward Brown, one of our most beloved and accomplished Black Belt citizens,” said Deborra Street, MMI’s performing arts director.

Georgette Norman, the director of the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, will be performing “Ashes of Roses” alongside Dr. Betty Campbell, a music professor from Judson College, and Dr. Winnifred Cobbs of Greensboro as they bring Brown’s stories to life.

The play is being presented by MMI in honor of Brown to bring attention to the artistic and cultural contributions she has made to our local communities and communities throughout the Black Belt region.

“MMI is honored to have been given the opportunity to produce ‘Ashes of Roses,’ and I am privileged to direct such an amazing work,” said Street. “I am very proud of the volunteers of this community who are giving up their own time to make this event a reality.”

For more information and tickets, contact Aaron Calvert at (334) 683-2349 or