The stage of the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre lit up on Oct. 16 for the opening night of “Stadium View”, an original play focusing in on a group of college friends in Grambling during the 1970s.
“Stadium View” is titled after the apartments located on Stadium Drive in Grambling. Currently home to many Grambling students, the apartment complex is a noted landmark on Grambling State University’s campus.
The setting of the play is a vibrantly decorated living room furnished with a funky couch and dining table perfectly in tune with 70s decor. The audience is introduced to Carlotta Anderson, a student from Compton, Calif. who seems to be very interested in expensive things and football players.
Her roommates, Yasmin Theriot and Lydia Marie Dove, deal with Carlotta’s antics while also facing their own realities. The women each date a player from Grambling’s football team. Zachary Taylor, Malcolm Taylor and Willie “The X-Man Gibbs” are key players on the field and share a special bond with each other.
Hamilton Marshall, a character who is interested in reporting and photography, seems to lighten the mood throughout the play.
The audience follows the ups and downs of characters for a length of two semesters. And whew! A lot takes place. Just like modern day Grambling, the students in the play juggle homework, extracurricular activities and relationships. Watching the play is almost nostalgic for the simple fact it is so similar to the daily reality that students face on campus today.
This original play was written by a former Grambling student, Judi Ann Mason. Mason was a native of Bossier City and she spent her career at Grambling writing and producing plays.
Mason wrote more than 25 produced plays and even became one of the youngest playwrights to be produced Off-Broadway, according to the Writers Guild of America.
Mason was also named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women. In 1977, Mason moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in screenwriting where she had her first big break writing for Norman Lear’s noted show, Good Times.
She also wrote for other shows including Sanford & Son, A Different World, Beverly Hills 90210 and soap operas, including Generations. Mason also worked in film and was known for her contributions in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Judi Ann Mason died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 54. Knowing Mason’s past and seeing the type of shows she was interested in creating, helps solidify Mason’s reliability about college life. We can only imagine the type of entertainment Mason witnessed from Grambling and her fellow peers in the ‘70s.
Viewers may question if Mason’s characters are actually based off of real students and current students may even be able to relate to one or two of the characters.
Overall “Stadium View” was exceptional. Set design, and costumes matched the ‘70s “vibe” of the play, and the production team did a great job capturing “Old Grambling” in modern day.
The play can runs nightly at 7 p.m., Oct. 16-20, at the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre.