Arts Council knows ‘Life is Good’

Published 7:43 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

The Troy Arts Council and the Troy University College of Communication and Fine Arts have partnered to present the theatrical production and lecture series of the inspirational autobiography, “Life Is So Good,” in Troy on Thursday, Jan. 13.

“Life Is So Good” is the story of George Dawson’s extraordinary journey through the 20th century and how he learned to read at age 98.

The TAC will present the stage production of “Life Is So Good” at 7:30 Thursday at the Claudia Crosby Theater.

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Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students and are available at 214 Wright Hall and at Malone Hall on the campus of Troy University, the Colley Senior Complex on Elm Street and at the door.

“‘Life Is So Good’ is such a wonderful, heartwarming story and it is much more than a story about a man who learned to read after living almost a century,” said John Jinright, TAC presenter chair. “It’s also a story about how to live life. Dawson does so in such a marvelous way. The way he sees life is amazing and the philosophy of life that he has developed after a 100 years of hard times and racism is inspiring. He grew up knowing right from wrong and he came out on top. ‘Life Is So Good’ is such a great story and one for all ages.”

Dawson lived to see his book published and to be featured at book signings. He was on the Oprah Show in 2001 and his story was told in Guidepost in June of 2001. He died in July of that year at age 103.

“Right after George Dawson died, a school in Texas was named in his memory,” Jinright said. “He became a champion for literacy in Texas and was America’s poster ‘child’ for literacy.”

Dr. Maryjo Cochran, dean, College of Communication and Fine Arts, said Dawson’s story is proof that it’s never too late to change one’s path of destiny.

“George Dawson should be an inspiration to everyone,” Cochran said. “By combining our College Reading Initiative with adult literacy, we realize that there are people in Troy, Pike County and Alabama who cannot read. The more we bring this to the attention of the public, the better off we’ll be.”

“Life Is So Good” is co-authored by Dawson and Richard Glaubman, who will conduct three free lectures 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 2:30- p.m. Thursday at the Trojan Center Ballroom on the campus of Troy University.

Cochran said that the three actors in “Life Is So Good” will participate in the 2:30 p.m. lecture. Glaubman will have copies of “Life Is So Good” and a follow-up book for sale at the lectures and at the performance. He will be available to sign the books.

“The university’s partnership with the Troy Arts Council is testament to the power of collaboration to bring outstanding arts entertainment to small communities,” Cochran said.