Thursday, July 09, 2009

Requiescat in pace: Judi Ann Mason, Shreveport-born playwright, 1955 - 2009

Originally uploaded by Destiny Theatre Company
Judi-Ann Mason, Shreveport native, died of a heart attack on July 8, 2009, says Wikipedia.

Judi Ann Mason (born 2 February, 1955, in Shreveport, Louisiana-- Died 8 July, 2009 Los Angeles, California) was an American television writer, producer and playwright. While attending Grambling State University[1], she won the Norman Lear Award for comedy writing from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her play, Livin’ Fat.[2] The following year she won the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award for A Star Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hole In Heaven.[3] The New York Times said that Mason had created "captivating characters" in her play, but that she had forfeited letting main character Pokie face the decision between romance and a better life, when the character's boyfriend ends up joining the war in Vietnam.[4] Mason also taught playwriting classes in 2005.[5]

Her television credits include Good Times, Sanford and Son, A Different World, Beverly Hills, 90210, I'll Fly Away, American Gothic,[6] Generations, and Guiding Light. Her film credits include Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit [7], Motherland[8] and the Emmy Award/CableACE Award nominated Sophie And The Moonhanger. Her stageplay credits include The Cornbread Man[9] and Indigo Blues.[10]

Mason was married to Lanyard A. Williams. She is no longer married and has two children, daughter Mason Synclaire Williams and son Austin Barrett Williams. She continues to teach playwriting around the globe for a number of universities such as the University of Florida, Gainsville, University of Louisville, and others.


Isoke said...

Judi was a living testimony to the fact that a talent shall not be denied. Why, America, did she have to struggle so? We who were touched by her life will live in her legacy. Is a star a hole in heaven or is it Judi?

Patricia said...

When Judi came to Los Angeles as a young woman, her office was across the hall from mine. Inside office, no window. But, there she was, writing on Good Times! She was so happy. Years later we worked together with Norman Lear on 704 Hauser Street. We talked about her children and where to send them to school. When they got into the school of her choice, she called to tell me all about it. A writer, a mother, a special person.