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Texas storyteller Williams brings MTSU free ‘Valentine’ Feb. 9

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams will finally be his own man on stage at MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, after three decades portraying a dozen-plus different — and memorably deranged — citizens embroiled in daily life in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.

Jaston Williams

Jaston Williams

Williams, half of the team that created the “Greater Tuna” series of four award-winning, crazy comedies, will bring his one-man show, “Blame it On Valentine, Texas,” to MTSU’s Tucker Theatre Feb. 9 for a free 7 p.m. public performance.

A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“Blame It on Valentine, Texas” allows Williams to reach back into his own life to share his experiences as a veteran of more than 40 years in theater.

From his debut at age 4 in an ill-fated ballet to a near-death experience involving an angry pig to his journey to China to find and adopt his son, Williams’s life has been one built for storytelling.

Williams Valentine graphic webIs this latest venture, like his life, a comedy? “Oh, God. I hope so,” Williams said.

Williams is best known for his creation of and performance in the “Greater Tuna” plays, in which he and cohort Joe Sears played all of the citizens of Tuna, the “third smallest town in Texas.”

He’s trod national and international stages throughout his career, including on and off Broadway; at the Kennedy Center and Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C; at Charleston, South Carolina’s renowned Spoleto Festival USA and Scotland’s Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, as well as two command performances at the White House.

The Tuna plays toured nationwide for more than 30 years, including multiple sold-out shows at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Williams received numerous awards for his acting and writing, and until retiring the Tuna shows, he and Sears were the longest-running stage comedy team in the country.

Williams, proclaimed “Texas’ Best Storyteller,” also has received wide acclaim for his solo shows and is a recipient of the Texas Medal of the Arts and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a Native Texan.

The MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund and the sponsorship of IBERIANBANK make this free MTSU Arts performance possible.

For more information, visit http://mtsuarts.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Actors and playwrights Jaston Williams, left, and Joe Sears cavort as their Tastee Kreme waitress alter egos Helen Bedd and Inita Goodwin in this publicity photo for "Tuna Does Vegas," the fourth in the pair's series of plays about fictional Tuna, Texas. Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, "Blame It on Valentine, Texas." (Photo courtesy of Brenda Ladd)

Actors and playwrights Jaston Williams, left, and Joe Sears cavort as their Tastee Kreme waitress alter egos Helen Bedd and Inita Goodwin in this publicity photo for “Tuna Does Vegas,” the fourth in the pair’s series of plays about fictional Tuna, Texas. Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, “Blame It on Valentine, Texas.” (Photo courtesy of Brenda Ladd)

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams, left, speaks in character as "Vera Carp" during a 2009 performance of "Tuna Does Vegas" in San Diego, California, while cohort Joe Sears listens as "Pearl Burras." Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, "Blame It on Valentine, Texas." (Photo courtesy of Phil Konstantin)

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams, left, speaks in character as “Vera Carp” during a 2009 performance of “Tuna Does Vegas” in San Diego, California, while cohort Joe Sears listens as “Pearl Burras.” Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, “Blame It on Valentine, Texas.” (Photo courtesy of Phil Konstantin)

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