Hickory – Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, THE COLOR PURPLE – THE MUSICAL, is a coming-of-age story about Celie Harris, a young Black woman growing up in rural Georgia in the early 20th century. Through the course of her life Celie is influenced, for good and ill, by the power of others, until finally claiming her own power. Two of those forces are her abusive husband, “Mister” and his kind mistress, Shug. In the Hickory Community Theatre’s production, which opens on Friday, January 21, Jordan Randall plays “Mister” and Iris DeWitt is Shug.
Randall is a very familiar face to Catawba valley audiences, with six productions over the past year. Four of those, NOISES OFF, THE WEIR, SKELETON CREW and PUFFS, at HCT. His portrayal of Reggie in SKELETON CREW earned him a 2021 Kay Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role. For several years Randall has been a regular with the outdoor drama FROM THIS DAY FORWARD and with the Tweetsie Railroad in Boone. He is a native and current resident of Granite Falls and works in e-commerce and customer support for Mast General Store. In his spare time he enjoys writing and producing music and is a member of the American Society of Fight Directors.
When asked about his choice to audition for THE COLOR PURPLE, Randall replied, “the story is a family favorite and the role of ‘Mister’ is a real stretch for me. I enjoy working at the Hickory Community Theatre because of the community of talent it cultivates, as well as the quality of the productions and the supportive staff.”
DeWitt is also a 2021 Kay Award recipient, for her role as Belle in DISENCHANTED in the fall of 2020. The show was the first streaming production by HCT and the only one that was performed entirely virtually. She also received a 2019 Kay Award, as part of the ensemble for NEWSIES, which was her debut show at HCT. A resident of Charlotte, De Witt has done extensive theatre work there, acting in 21 productions with eight different theatre companies. Originally from Chandler, Arizona, she relocated to North Carolina in 2013 to complete her Juris Doctorate at the Charlotte School of Law. She now works as a real estate specialist for Crown Castle Communications.
“Shug has been a dream of mine since high school,” she said, and I am impressed with the Hickory Community Theatre’s commitment to diversity, both on stage and in the production staff.”
Performances of THE COLOR PURPLE will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, January 21 through February 5 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, January 30 at 2:30 pm and Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, January 21 features reduced-price tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for youth & students. Tickets for all other performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students.
Tickets are available online at hickorytheatre.org, or by phone at 828-328-2283. Weekday box office hours are 12-5, Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before any performance.
Due to the continued rate of Covid-19 cases in Catawba County, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Hickory Community strongly recommends that patrons wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.
The Hickory Community’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. THE COLOR PURPLE is produced by the United Arts Council of Catawba County, in association with Shurtape Technologies, LLC. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.
PHOTO: Jordan Randall plays “Mister” and Iris DeWitt plays Shug Avery in THE COLOR PURPLE. Photo by John Koval.