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Theatre MSU to Honor Durst’s Following ‘Pirates’ Production

MSU Durst

Wayne and Jo Durst

STARKVILLE, Miss. (Press Release) — Two longtime Mississippi State communication department faculty members will be honored next week following the first performance of the final production of Theatre MSU’s 50th season.

Professor Emeritus Wayne Durst will be honored with a portrait unveiling April 24 in the McComas Hall lobby. His wife Betty “Jo” Durst, a university instructor who is concluding 34 years of service, also will be honored with a retirement reception at the same location.

Wayne Durst retired last year after 37 years as theatre area coordinator, technical director responsible for scenery and lighting of productions and related responsibilities. In appreciation, the department’s Theatre MSU program will unveil his portrait to be hung permanently in the building’s lobby.

Over her more than three decades at MSU, Jo Durst has directed countless department-sponsored plays, in addition to her teaching and advising responsibilities.

The Thursday portrait unveiling and reception will immediately follow the opening of “The Pirates of Penzance.” Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular, two-act comic opera continues on the McComas Hall mainstage on the 25th and 26th. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. for each performance.

John Forde, head of the communication department, said the Dursts have made many significant contributions over the last few decades of service to the university.

“It is very appropriate for them to be recognized and for his portrait to hang in the lobby along with (founding theatre director) Dominic Cunetto’s portrait, especially because they worked for so long together,” Forde said.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the door or online at www.comm.msstate.edu/theatre/tickets.

For more about this and other departmental events, contact Melanie Harris at 662-325-9162 or mharris@comm.msstate.edu.

Complete information about MSU is available at www.msstate.edu.