Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

April 22, 2013

Exiting Stage Left...

Former Lon Morris theatre student is leading alumni effort to gather dwindling LMC memorabilia

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Actor Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux has made a career of emphasizing the lessons of history to numerous audiences. Now she's looking to preserve some of her own personal backstory.

Waddy-Thibodeaux, 58, was theatrically trained at Lon Morris College, which completed bankruptcy proceedings this summer. She is one of a group of faithful LMC alumni on a quest to acquire memorabilia such as T-shirts, caps, and the like from the flickering, fading — and soon to be completely one — institution.

“We would like to know if you can locate any pics, trophies, scripts, anything from the Masque and Wig Theater during the '70s,” she said.  “We may also want to hold some type of ceremony to say 'good-bye' from all alumni across the country.”

Well-grounded in history, Waddy-Thibodeaux is specifically looking for memorabilia that might prove  crucial to the “going away” or “gone away” celebration.

“Any information is appreciated,” she said.

Waddy-Thibodeaux was trained by the Lon Morris College performing arts staff  between 1972 and 1974.

LMC — founded in 1854 — hosted such extraordinary theatrical talents over the years as Sandy Duncan, Tommy Tune and Alan Tudyk.

Waddy-Thibodeaux went on after college to become an actor, storyteller and playwright of some three decades, specializing in teaching history through the theater, according to information from her Flying Geese Production Company.

Waddy-Thibodeaux now teaches theater arts and acting classes and workshops for children and adults access the United States.  She is a resident artist with The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and The Children’s Prison Arts Project in Houston, according to Flying Geese.

As a performer, she has delivered powerful performance of crucial historical figures in productions such as “The Resurrection of Harriet Tubman in Escape to Freedom.”

She has received countless accolades for her work. A recent show, “Meet Mrs. Rosa Parks,” has been highly-requested and recommended by many universities and colleges, community organizations, corporate and military entities.