Swamp Gravy: Nuthin’ But A Will cast give old play new life

Published 1:17 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

Family history takes on new meaning in this year’s performance of Swamp Gravy: Nuthin But A Will, which is now playing at Cotton Hall in the small town of Colquitt, Ga. Written initially by Jules Corriere, the much-loved folk-life play is directed by the talented Will Murdock, a Southwest Georgia native. Despite his young age, Murdock has received many accolades for his work with Swamp Gravy and currently serves as the Artistic Director at Colquitt Miller Arts Council. 

First performed 16 years ago, Nuthin But A Will is a collection of oral histories from the local volunteer fire department and past community heroes. Dot Wainwright, previously president of the Colquitt Miller Arts Council, first gave the folk-life play its name. Swamp Gravy describes using what was within arm’s reach, tomatoes, fish drippings, potatoes, and whatever else was at hand to create a delicious and resourceful meal. Now the moniker for the ongoing community performance, this year marks 30 years since its beginning. The cast comprises local volunteers, many of which take roles in each new production. The play has been given credit for contributing significantly to the revitalization of the town that, like many towns in the region, was in severe economic decline. Many travel from far and wide to catch a performance at the unique theater and leave feeling like a part of the Colquitt community. 

Nuthin’ But A Will is an energetic and cleverly put-together production, and altogether not what you would expect from a small-town theatrical performance. The stories themselves are profound, with solid morals and a touch of nostalgia, sure to give a tug on even the most reserved heartstrings. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the finely tuned performances from a diverse volunteer cast, both old and young. There are highs and lows, comedic respites, and profoundly moving renditions of heartfelt songs; it truly is the fastest way to a local cultural education anyone could hope to get. 

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“There’s all sorts of fires—from the ones that can devastate a home to the invisible ones— like need, want, and “making do.” Swamp Gravy: Nuthin’ But A Will explores what it means to fight all these fires. Through the good and the bad, the mean and the sad, the funny and the downright ugly, the characters of Nuthin’ But A Will persevere.”

Performances will be ongoing until the last weekend in February; visit https://swampgravy.com/ for more information or to reserve tickets.