Hixon ‘Comes Home’ to local theater

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 15, 2009

A few months ago, Mack Hixon had stepped out of the spotlight and off the stage.

For five years, Hixon had played the role of the older Wade Hall in “Conecuh People” at the Red Door Theater in Union Springs.

His term as president of the Tourism Council of Bullock County was coming to a close and he was ready to relax and enjoy a little free time for family and fishing.

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However, that was short lived.

After some arm twisting, Hixon agreed to direct the fall production of “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge.

“This is a new venture for me but I’m really enjoying it,” Hixon said. “Many of the cast members have been with the folklife play for several years and they know what to do. It’s like a big family here and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Hixon is a native of Union Springs but moved from town to the farm in 1955.

“My grandmother died and we moved to the family farm in Perote,” he said. “The farm had been in our family since 1835 and we wanted it to stay in the family.”

Hixon’s rural upbringing helped prepare him for his role as director of a play about cotton picking, peanut fields, blackberry patches and moonshining.

Hixon admits to having picked cotton and other farm chores but he stopped short of any knowledge of moonshining.

“I do know something about farm life and country life and that’s what ‘Come Home’ is about,” Hixon said. “My experience with Conecuh People has given me insight into community theater and taught me something about lighting and staging. And I’ve had experience as a production manager with large events with thousands of people involved. All of these experiences have been helpful in my new role as director of a community play.”

Hixon is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He worked in Washington D.C. as an aide and served in the United States Army before embarking on a 35-year career with the United Way in Greenville, S.C.

After retirement, he and his wife, Sarah, moved “home” to Perote and became active in community events.

Lawrence Bowden, president of the Brundidge Historical Society, producer of “Come Home, It’s Suppertime,” said the cast and crew of Alabama’s Official Folklife Play, is proud to have Hixon at the helm.

“Mack Hixon is very knowledgeable about the folkways that are portrayed in ‘Come Home, It’s Suppertime,’” Bowden said. “He is an easy person to work with. He listens and he takes actions and that’s the mark of a good director. Practices are going very well and we are all looking forward to another season of stories, music and fun at suppertime.”