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  • State of Florida Individual Artist’s Fellowship

  • Gold Coast Players Best-Play Award

  • The National Arts Club’s Playwrights First Award in Manhattan

  • Ashland, Oregon, New Play Festival

  • Theatre Conspiracy New Play Award

  • Dezart Performs Audience Favorite, Palm Springs, CA

  • The 2014 Desert Theater League Awards:
    Best Director, Judith Chapman
    Two Best Actresses (They were both nominated and tied) playing Zelma and Marjorie
    Best Supporting Actress, who played Kate Walton
    Best Actor, who played Sigsbee Scruggs
    Best Supporting Actor, who played Norton Baskin



6 Actors, 3 female, 3 male



Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was at the height of her career in 1946, having won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, THE YEARLING, and having gained 3 honorary degrees from universities.  The movie version of THE YEARLING was just coming out, and she was riding the success of her latest nonfiction account of her life in Florida, CROSS CREEK, and the subsequent CROSS CREEK COOKERY. 

All was not perfect, though.  Despite her happy marriage to Norton Baskin, Marjorie was plagued by alcoholism and what her friends and neighbors described as her "black spells."  Then suddenly, a woman she thought was her good friend, Zelma Cason, sued her for right of privacy in the first such trial brought against an author. 

Representing Zelma was Kate Walton, the first female attorney in Florida, and representing Marjorie was Sigsby Scruggs, a cagey old cracker attorney.  The ensuing struggle between right of privacy and the constitutional promise of free speech became a spectacle.  "I haven't seen people around here so stirred up about anything since that two-headed calf was born over to Island Grove," said Norton.  But not only were the people in Cross Creek mesmerized by the unfolding drama.  The eyes of the world were on the little Florida town. 

The struggle between Sigsby and Kate became personal, with the question of the appropriateness of a female attorney, which in 1946 cracker Florida was revolutionary.  Complicating the drama were not only Marjorie's total belief in freedom of speech, which was necessary for her success as an author, but her driving need for privacy, to hide her true nature from an adoring world, enthralled with her sensitive portraits of these Florida pioneers, and her exact and poetic depiction of the wildlife around her.


What The Critics Say


“Larry Parr’s INVASION OF PRIVACY is a creative treasure.  The riveting story and performing artists bring the audience into being part of the jury.  Truly a stimulating theatrical experience for everyone, albeit issues of privacy, artistic license and freedom of speech remain virulent still in our lives.”  Eve Curtis, Sun Herald.


“The U.S. constitution guarantees citizens a right to free speech and a right to privacy, but conflicts between the two are inevitable.  Such is the debate at the heart of Larry Parr’s lively and funny, fact-based INVASION OF PRIVACY.  Parr has a flair for sassy humor and for focusing his story on the main issues.  Parr has done a fine job of helping the strong cast create memorable characters.”  Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune.


“Parr deftly conducts us through the story from the moment when Kinnan’s husband first informs her of the lawsuit in the early discussions with Lawyer Sigsbee Scruggs, Rawlings’ attempt to persuade Cason to drop the suit, and finally, the trial itself.  All along the way, Parr pays special attention to the complicated personalities of Rawlings and husband Norton Baskin as well as to the comic possibilities of Florida cracker Cason and the good-old-boy Scruggs.  In his character painting and dialogue, Parr is very successful.”  Mark E. Leib, Weekly Planet.


“INVASION OF PRIVACY is a riveting premiere for its Sarasota playwright.  Intensely interesting, sharply directed and performed, INVASION OF PRIVACY is a winner for author Parr.”  Jean Reed, The Pelican Press.


“Parr has written a fine play that deserves to be seen beyond the bounds of Florida.”  Kim Cool, Venice Gondolier.


Written by Sarasota playwright Larry Parr, "Invasion of Privacy" is this year’s winner of Theatre Conspiracy’s New Play Contest. It’s easy to see why. The dialogue is playful and entertaining. The themes are universal.  Mr. Parr has created a tightly written play filled with strong, quirky, colorful characters.  Nancy Stetson, Florida Weekly.


"Dezart and artistic director Michael Shaw have chosen an entertaining play that has a deeper message.  Do we have a right to privacy?  More than 70 years after the Cross Creek trial, the answer to that question seems more elusive than ever.  Dezart’s Invasion of Privacy is thought-provoking theater that will spark much debate on the ride home."  Bonnie Gilgallon


"Based on the true story of the fight for one woman’s freedom of speech and another’s right to privacy, the play is a classic example of the constitutional dilemma the judiciary faces when it comes to protecting the rights of all citizens.  Invasion of Privacy director Judith Chapman asks the audience in her program remarks to take a step back in time to the 1940s.  That was a time when a woman lawyer was a novelty in the South, and man’s moonshine was nobody’s business, and an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit was something of a brand-new issue, which eventually because a popular reason for going to court."  Jack Lyons, Theatre & Film Critic


"Larry Parr tells the story of this controversial case with humor, passion, and lots of heart.  These are wonderful characters.  The playwright has an amazing feel for ‘alligator country’ where the real-life action took place.  How timely that the play tackles the subjects of invasion of privacy and freedom of speech in a case that is over 60 years old, the very story that appears in today’s headlines on a daily basis.  What ultimately is the cost when rights, as defined by the Constitution, seem to collide?"  Michael Shaw, Dezart Performs.






























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