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TheatrePlazaParis Community Theater will present its last performance of the 2013-2014 season, Beth Henley’s “The Miss Firecracker Contest”, and invites you to spend an evening with a great cast of eccentric Southern characters.

Set in rural Brookhaven, Mississippi, PCT’s production of  “Miss Firecracker Contest” runs June 13-15 and 19-22 at the Plaza Theater in downtown Paris.

Directed by Catie Maxwell, making her directional debut, principal characters will include all new faces to the PCT stage.  Madison Flechette will portray Carnelle Scott, who is 24 with a checkered past, which earned her the nickname “Hot Tamale”,  is entering the “Contest” in search of other’s approval and acceptance.

Sarah Brown, has been cast as Elain Rutledge, Carnelle’s cousin, a very beautiful lady, who won the contest year’s ago,  arrives on the scene to contrast Carnelle’s floundering self-esteem and to emphasize what advantages beauty has in society.  Popeye  Jackson, Carnelle’s newly acquired friend and seamstress for the pageant, will be played by Mackenzie May.  Delmount Williams, played by Riley Collard, is Elain’s brother who returns to Brookhaven to settle his Mother’s estate and adores Carnelle.  JJ Freelen and Kacy Mills wind out the cast as MacSam and Tessy.  Other credits include Haley Hines as Assistant Director, Cody Rice as State Manager, and Tori Hunt, Colin Bridgers and Gwen Steinecke as backstage crew.

Mrs. Maxwell explained, “Pageants take place all around the nation, but are important events in the South.  They exemplify all the qualities one would expect to find in Southern women, as well as stress the importance of class and community.  Beth Henley’s play tells a story of acceptance.  It strives to create a positive conclusion by explaining happiness, insecurities and true beauty.  Interaction between Carnelle and her cousins further show the importance of family.  Miss Henley explained that the community plays a huge role in Southern Society, an important fact which is presented in the play through the annual pageant and Carnelle’s concern about her reputation.”

Maxwell continues, “A good reputation, particularly in a small Southern town, is one of the most important possessions one can have.  The Miss Firecracker Contest is a symbol for the deep-seated tradition that runs through the town of  Brookhaven.  This explains why it is so important to Carnelle to regain acceptance through this time-honored event.  The dialect used throughout the play is strongly Southern, therefore thoroughly immersing the characters and story in Southern culture.”

Sponsors for the “Miss Firecracker Contest” are Lamar National Bank, Dr. Richard Grossnickle and the Law Offices of Sydney Young.  Tickets are $10.00 each and can be reserved by calling the PCT box office at 903-784-0259 (10:00 am to 3 p.m., Tuesday-Friday), e-mailing, or by going to

“We are excited about bringing this play to you and hope the people of Paris and our surrounding area will want to come and see it in our beautiful Plaza Theater”, said Tommy Stone, PCT office manager.  “Many seats are not being filled, even by season ticket holders, and the theater needs your attendance and continued support”, he continued.

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