Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Authors
R. Eugene Jackson (Email me!)R. Eugene Jackson is retired from his position as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama and continues to live in Mobile. He received his B.S. from the University of Memphis, his M.A. from Kent State University, and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where his now grown son was born.
Working the stage and writing plays have been his passions from pre-birth (his mother claims he was quite animated in the womb), and they continue to add sparkle to his life. In the lower school, he wrote and performed skits and other dramatic programs. In high school and college he continued those interests while winning a number of music medals as a trumpet player in the bands and the college orchestra. At Kent State, he wrote and directed two plays for young people as part of his thesis. One of those, Ferdinand and the Dirty Knight, won a national playwriting contest and was later Jackson’s first published play. Pioneer Drama Service’s Shubert Fendrich did the honors. Though noting that it was not a strong script, he said he recognized the underlying writing talent and wanted to encourage it. At Southern Illinois University, Dr. Christian Moe, a nationally recognized professor of playwriting, provided additional encouragement and helpful tutoring in the fine art.
Jackson’s published plays now number over eighty, many by Pioneer Drama Service. Those include plays for youngsters, such as The Tales of Peter Cottontail, The Brave Little Tailor (Or Seven at One Swat), The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, The Three Little Pigs Out West, and The Little Mermaid (the last three are musicals), and plays for teens, such as School for Nerds, Bad Hair Day, Touched by an Angle (sic.), and Yard Sale Junkies. A complete listing of his plays is available online.
For leisure, Jackson squeaks away on his violin and plays with orchestras in Florida and New Orleans, while appearing in well over a dozen Hollywood movies as an extra and featured extra. He was also the stand-in for the comedian Bob Newhart on the made-for-tv movie The Librarian III and a Spartan councilman in the recent satirical movie Meet the Spartans with Carmen Elektra. Those and his other roles are listed on his acting website. Jackson still lives by the motto, “Life is hell, but somebody’s got to do it!”
Titles by R. Eugene Jackson:
Bad Hair Day
The Brave Little Tailor
Christmas Crisis at Mistletoe Mesa
The Dancing Snowman
Ferdinand and the Dirty Knight
A Golden Fleecing