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Giving Back - Endowed scholarship named for local playwright

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An annual playwrighting competition in Don Glenn’s name is being sponsored by the UT Department of Theatre and Dance and will determine each year’s scholarship recipient. Courtesy photoAn annual playwrighting competition in Don Glenn’s name is being sponsored by the UT Department of Theatre and Dance and will determine each year’s scholarship recipient. Courtesy photo

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Thanks to the support of the local community as well as his friends and former classmates who raised $50,000, the newly endowed Don Wilson Glenn African American Playwright Scholarship at the University of Texas has been created and the first scholarship will be awarded in 2023. An annual playwrighting competition in Glenn’s name is being sponsored by the UT Department of Theatre and Dance and will determine each year’s scholarship recipient. Glenn will serve as a judge on the competition panel.

Born and raised in Livingston, Glenn is an award-winning African American playwright of Native American descent from the Apalachicola Band of Creek Indian Tribe of East Texas. A 1984 graduate of Livingston High School, Glenn went to the state finals at UT as a senior drama student with a play in which he adapted and starred. He has continued his passion for theater arts in the 38 years since, with no signs of stopping.

“The UT-Austin scholarship idea originated with Ryan Stubbs during the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Ryan then graciously invited a few LHS friends to share in his vision of getting the scholarship endowment funded,” Jessica Dunn Guilbeau, a member of the scholarship committee and a classmate of Glenn’s, said.

“Basically, we were a group of 1980s close-knit LHS childhood friends who were very proud of Don’s lifetime of work in the theater arts. As kids of the 1980s, we all grew up in a loving community with both shared and diverse experiences, who, over the years, no matter where we lived, no matter where life took us, we somehow managed to remain lifelong friends. In a nutshell, Ryan invited the group to share in his vision and everyone was excited to help in any way they could,” Guilbeau said.

“Laura Walker was the chairperson who kept us focused and on track. Sadly, in June 2021, we lost Donna Cryer Lawson, who was an integral member of the group. She was a voice of reason who always weighed in with the right suggestions for our success. After her loss, we decided to continue on in her honor,” Guilbeau said.

In addition to Stubbs, Guilbeau, Walker and Lawson (in memoriam), other members of the scholarship committee are Kimberly Camp Orr and Kimberly Robertson Jackson. An interesting note that Guilbeau shared is that everything was electronically accomplished by Zoom meetings, Gofundme, Facebook and word of mouth.

“We had lots of hits and a few misses, yet the group persevered with Don’s blessing and got the job done,” Guilbeau said.

Listening to the life stories of the multi-generational matriarchs of his family as a youth, Glenn gained inspiration and began writing “American Experience” plays that he hopes bless, encourage and entertain his audiences.

With extensive theater credentials, Glenn received the 2002 AUDELCO Award for Excellence in Black Theatre for “American Menu,” receiving Best Playwright, Best Director, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Dramatic Production of the Year. He received the 2003 Outer Critic Award Nominee for American King Umps.

He received the 2019 Mario Fratti & Fred Newman Political Play Award for his play “American Summer Squash: Katrina 2005 Raw.” Additionally, he was the 2020-2021 season recipient of the Meyer Memorial Trust-Oregon Cultural Trust and the Cultural Coalition for his winning proposal of “Troy USA,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida that he co-authored with Dmae Roberts. It will open in the Summer of 2022.

One of Glenn’s current works in progress is “Walking through Portland with a Panther, The life of Mr. Kent Ford, All Power to the People,” a one-man show based on the life and times of Kent Ford, the leader of the Portland, Ore. Chapter of the Black Panther Party from the 60’s through the early 80’s. It will open in the Spring of 2022 at the Vanport Mosaic Festival in Portland.

Another of his works in progress is “Martha Bakes: A biography of a Revolution and Insurrection that never Happened,” a one-woman show that takes a satirical lens to American Colonial HerStory. Part historical biography and part cooking show, the audience is invited into the relationship between Martha Washington, the original First Lady, and her dower slave Oney Marie Judge during an imagined slave revolt on Mount Vernon. The play begins with Martha, the fresh widow of George Washington, socially distancing herself during a fictitious slave uprising on Mount Vernon. The slaves have learned the contents of George’s will declaring that the over 350 enslaved bodies on the plantation are to be set free –upon the death of Martha. Enduring her newfound circumstances with a pleasant disposition, Martha bakes a three-course meal during the revolt as she barricades herself in the kitchen, and with each preparation reflects on her influential role with scant representation in the creation of the nation.

“That the suffrage and abolition movements are not always easy bedfellows echo the legacies of racism, sexism and voter suppression that our nation is still struggling to unpack today,” Glenn said. It will open during the 2022-2023 season.

His work has been produced in theaters across the country, including the Woodie King Jr. New Federal Theatre, Mrs. Gertrude Jeannette’s H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players, Theater For The New City, PassinArt Theatre Company and Vanport Mosaic Producer Damaris Webb.

Glenn received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He has served as the President and Artistic Director of the Angelina Community Theater in Lufkin. 

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Man in custody after teen shot

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Maurice ScottMaurice ScottFrom Enterprise Staff

A Livingston man is in the Polk County Jail after a teenager suffered a gunshot Thursday.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a shooting near Newberry Drive, in the Indian Springs subdivision.

Sheriff’s office deputies arrived on scene and located the victim sitting on the side of the roadway. Tylor Smith, 18, of Livingston sustained a gunshot wound to his lower leg and was taken by EMS to the Livingston Hospital for treatment.

The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Maurice Scott, also of Livingston. Scott was quickly located and deputies were able to take him into custody without incident. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, The case is still under investigation at this time.

Those with information in reference to this case are asked to contact  the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810.

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Winner of easttexasnews.com app download contest announced

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AppContestWinner

Congratulations to Natalie Bachynsky, (center) nurse practitioner and owner of Houston County Family Medical Clinic in Crockett, TX. She is the big winner of our easttexasnews.com app download contest. The contest took place during the month of February, and the drawing was held live on March 1. The prize package, worth over $1200, includes a two night stay at Moody Gardens resort in Galveston, a family four pack of tickets to several Moody Gardens attractions, $100 gift card from Moody Gardens, and a $25 gift certificate to Gypsy Joynt in Galveston. Pictured with Natalie are Brandy Jones, left, graphic designer at the Houston County Courier newspaper, and Kelli Barnes, right, publisher for Polk County Publishing Co. group of newspapers. 

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New public health resource center available

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Angelina College President Dr. Michael Simon and Sharon Shaw, chief executive officer of the Angelina County and Cities Health District, cut the ribbon on the newly opened Public Health Resource Center on the AC campus. The center will provide AC students and employees with services including medical and overall well-being.  Gary Stallard/AC News Service photoAngelina College President Dr. Michael Simon and Sharon Shaw, chief executive officer of the Angelina County and Cities Health District, cut the ribbon on the newly opened Public Health Resource Center on the AC campus. The center will provide AC students and employees with services including medical and overall well-being. Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo

From Enterprise Staff

Officials from Angelina College (AC) and the Angelina County and Cities Health District (ACCHD) gathered recently for a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony officially signaling the opening of a new Public Health Resource Center located on the AC campus.

AC president Dr. Michael Simon said such a service has been a college priority since he arrived, and despite the pandemic’s interruption, the center would provide much-needed support for Angelina College students and staff.

“When I first arrived here, I asked what we as a college were doing well, and I asked about the areas in need of improvement,” Simon said. “One of the issues discussed most was the need for an on-campus health facility serving both our students and our staff.

“Through our collaborations and partnerships with area health professionals, we were able to bring this idea to fruition, and what you’re seeing today is the result of a lot of planning and hard work on the part of people who wanted to see this happen.”

The new center, located in AC’s Hudgins Hall, will provide free services to AC students and staff. Those services include medical services from the ACCHD and overall well-being services from the Burke Center for those in need.

Sharon Shaw, chief executive officer of the ACCHD, said the ceremony was the culmination of extensive effort from all parties involved.

“This is such a great opportunity for us to work together,” Shaw said. “We had a vision back in 2019 to start putting something together for students. We had an interruption with the pandemic, but we got back on track quickly. In fact, the interruption in a way highlighted just how much of a need existed.

“Dr. Simon has been fabulous with kind of shepherding this idea of putting public health and community college together. Now, more than ever, it’s important to create a resilient environment.”

Shaw noted how AC’s efforts throughout the past couple of years showed just how valuable such a partnership could be.

“The college came to our aid with the mask and vaccination clinics,” Shaw said “The health careers poured out and worked the clinics, and Dr. Simon even drove a golf cart to help the elderly get to their vaccinations. We were able to forge such a great bond.

“We are the only local health department to have a collaborative effort with a community college, to put public health services, public health mentality and the possibility of some curriculum building on preparedness in the future. This really is ground-breaking.”

For further information, contact Krista Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Firefighters respond to fire at Corrigan plant

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firefighterBy Emily Banks Wooten
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Firefighters from 14 area departments responded to a fire at the Roy O Martin OSB Plant in Corrigan Thursday morning.

“We received a call at 5:30 a.m. Thursday stating that Roy O Martin had a fire,” Corrigan Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy McDonald said. “I believe it started in the dry bins, then went into the blenders.

“The majority of the fire was under control probably around 9:30 or 10 but we stood around putting out hot spots,” McDonald said, adding that firefighters left the scene around 12:30 p.m.

“I don’t have any idea what started it and will probably never know,” McDonald said, adding that there were no injuries to firefighters or plant personnel.

Firefighters from Corrigan, Livingston, Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation, Holiday Lake Estates, Scenic Loop, Woodville, Shepherd, Diboll, Cleveland, Tarkington, South Polk County, Trinity, Groveton and Onalaska responded to the fire.

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