For Hill, parting is sweet sorrow

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

Step outside the known, and risk seeing something new.

This is a wish Alex Hill, who has been a regular in the local community theater productions for the past four years, would like to pass on to theatergoers before he moves to Mobile, Ala.

“Trust the theater. If you’ve seen them put something on, and you enjoyed it and see that they are doing another show, and maybe you are not familiar with that show and you wouldn’t originally see it, push yourself a little bit, and trust the theater,” Hill said.

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Hill moved to Vicksburg in 2011, taking a job with International Paper after graduating from the University of Florida. Originally from Colorado, Hill admits he was a little apprehensive about moving to Mississippi.

“I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when I moved here. You know I had never stepped foot in Mississippi before and grew up in yankee-ville Denver, Colorado,” he laughed.

Thankfully, Hill received his new surroundings with optimism.

“We befriended him [Hill] on Facebook and saw where some of his friends from Colorado gave him a hard time about ‘having to live in Mississippi,’ but he responded that he was doing just fine,” Paul Ingram said.

Ingram has worked instrumentally with the lighting at the Parkside Playhouse and said he got to know Hill when he and his wife, Donna, worked at the theater with the production of “Forever Plaid.” Hill brought a lot of talent and professionalism to the stage, Ingram said.

Having been involved with theater most of his life, it still took his mother’s nudging to prompt Hill to be connected locally.

“It was actually my mom who saw on Facebook that the Vicksburg Theatre Guild was having auditions for ‘Forever Plaid.’ She called me and said I should audition for it, and so I did,” Hill said.

Since that debut performance locally, Hill has performed in more than 13 productions at both the Vicksburg Theatre Guild and the Westside Theatre Foundation with shows including “Les Miserable,” “Oliver,” “Man of La Mancha” and “The Rocky Horror Show.”

Even though cast in leading roles for some of the best know shows, Hill said his favorite performance was “The Last Five Years.”

“It was with Westside [Theatre Foundation], but it was still when they were in the Coral Room. It is a musical, and the music is just outstanding. I loved the music and the character I got to play, and it was in a small theater, so I got to be up next to the audience,” he said.

With his transfer with International Paper, Alabama keeps Hill in the South, but he said he would miss his Vicksburg home.

“I never thought I would be as involved with the theater or the people I know at work. The people I have gotten to know is by far the thing I am going to miss the most,” he said.

In turn, those who worked with Hill have also expressed their sentiments.

“I am richer for having known him, and the VTG was better because of what he added to our shows,” said Paul Ballard, the president of VTG .

“We loved working with Alex and look forward to his endeavors, and if he returns, he always has a home here,” said Jack Burns, the director of Westside Theatre Foundation.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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