The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia (play)


The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia (play)

"The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia" is the first play in the series A Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones.

Infobox Play
name = The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia


image_size =
caption =
writer = Preston Jones
chorus =
characters =
mute =
setting = Bradleyville, Texas, 1962. Meeting room of the "Knights of the White Magnolia" on the third floor of the Cattleman's Hotel.
premiere =
place =
orig_lang =
series = Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, The Oldest Living Graduate
subject =
genre =
web =
playbill =
ibdb_id = 3858

History

The original name of "A Texas Trilogy" was "The Bradleyville Trilogy". The trilogy was first performed in its entirety at the Dallas Theater Center in 1975.

The Last Meeting of the Knights Of White Magnolia the play the last meeting of the knights of the white magnolia is a comedy about brotherhood by the same name. the brotherhood is a fraternal club that originally was made to uphold the ideals of the white race. although this was once the clubs cause now they truly are only there to play dominoes and have “refreshments”. One thing that made me laugh right from the begging we meet the hotel janitor Rams eye-eyes a black man who every member of the club is on good standing with. later in the play we meet the colonel. the colonel is a W.W.I vet who is not all there. the other members of the lodge are Olin Potts, Red Grover, L.D. Alexander. all of these men consider themselves brothers with each other although they will spat every now and again. later in the show w meet Lonnie Roy McNeil. McNeil is a man from the next city over that Red has to talked into coming to a meeting as a new member. when he arrives he is told all about the grandeur that was the knights of the white magnolia. sadly when he asks if the meetings that would have thousands of members still happened he is informed of the sad truth. this is the only remaining lodge. the members then proceed to vote the new member into the lodge but when they have voted he is gone. the colonel then proceeds to say that they should shoot him. although McNeil does come back in the end he does not become a member of the club. this laves the current members to realize that they are truly the last members of the knights of the white magnolia. To do this show you need to have the setting. the stage must be dressed with two stars and bars flag. Also you need to have a podium on stage right. there needs to be a door on stage left. for lighting there needs to be dim lighting that creates an intimate atmosphere. also there needs to a cross that has light bulbs on it. additionally the colonel needs to have a wheel chair that he can be pushed in. overall I was a little disappointed with the play I thought that this watered down KKK would create lots of humor that would make an audiences be scared that the laughed at. one thing I didn't like was that the play seemed to be very drawn out although it does create humor at times in other instances it is very repetitive. also I thought that there were to many characters there really is no need for half of the club members. although I had some problems with the play I did like the way that the show was predictable. I know that that sounds odd but the predictability created a sense f dramatic irony that was very amusing. also I love the character of Ramsey-Eyes. one character that I felt connected to was Lonnie Roy McNeil. Lonnie is a man that once was surrounded by friends but once the draft hit lonnie was left at home due to his flat feet and asthma. Lonnie decides to join the knights because he wants someone to talk to. I feel connected to this character because I my self have made friends with people that probably weren't the best influence on me, just to have someone to talk to. Additionally in the end McNeil leaves when he decides that he doesn't belong there. I feel that this shows a strength that many would feel he did not have. I also am stronger than others think I am.

Production History

"The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia" premiered at the Down Center Stage on December 4, 1973.

The three plays were first presented together as "The Bradleyville Trilogy" on in 1975 at the Dallas Theater Center.

The trilogy was most successful under the direction of Alan Schneider in its premier as "A Texas Trilogy" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The trilogy debuted on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on September 23, 1976, directed again by Alan Schneider. It closed after a mere 20 performances on October 29, 1976. It featured the following cast:

*L. D. Alexander - Henderson Forsythe
*Colonel J. C. Kinkaid - Fred Gwynne
*Red Grover - Patrick Hines
*Olin Potts - Thomas Toner
*Skip Hampton - Graham Beckel
*Rufe Phelps - Walter Flanagan
*Ramsey Eyes - John Marriott
*Milo Crawford - Josh Mostel
*Lonnie Roy McNeil - Paul O'Keefe

References

http://alkek.library.txstate.edu/swwc/archives/writers/jones.html


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