March 14, 2017 | | Faculty Spotlight
When the call for new scripts from local playwrights for the 9th Biennial Festival of New Plays at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre (CTC) was announced, Rex Knowles submitted his play titled Old Ties and waited. His patience paid off when he was notified that his script had been chosen as Grand Prize Winner, earning him a fully realized stage production at the CTC that includes sets, costumes, lighting and sound as well as a cash prize. Knowles is a repeat winner. His previous entry, The Night Reginald Filbert Called It Quits won grand prize in 2006.
Old Ties explores how the main character deals with the death of his wife after sixty-two years of marriage. This four-person play involves one man, two cops and a distant relative waiting on the medical examiner to arrive in a New York City Upper West Side apartment. They discover how exquisitely complex it is to love, to live, and to leave.
“Chattanooga State is proud to have a great playwright, actor, and teacher like Rex Knowles on its staff. Rex is adored by his students, and I appreciate everything that he does to encourage them to reach their academic and professional goals,” states Darrin Hassevoort, Humanities and Fine Arts Dean.
Opening Night for Old Ties will be Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m., preceded by a 7 p.m. reception and award presentation at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Additional performances will be presented on April 22, 27, 28, 29, and 30, as well as May 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Knowles is a well-known producer, actor and writer having lived in Los Angles and New York before settling in Chattanooga as the Executive Director of the Professional Actor Training Program at Chattanooga State Community College in 2002. He has garnered numerous awards as a producer, appeared on such television hits as M*A*S*H, Starsky & Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard, written for game shows, and taught improvisation with his wife, Sherry Landrum, for more than thirty-five years. Well known comedian Garry Shandling, one of their formers students, said, “Everything I ever said was conceived in Rex and Sherry’s improv class.”