by Helena Witzke
Writers are known for their addictions. However, the biggest addiction writers face often isn’t given enough credit: the writing itself. And if there are two writers in Michigan who are proving that they’ve caught the bug for life, it’s WMU’s own Dr. Arnold Johnston (emeritus chair and emeritus professor of English) and his wife, author Deborah Ann Percy (MFA Creative Writing).
Johnston and Percy, who have written collaboratively on dozens of projects over the years, are set to give a recording of ”The Adventures of Goldilocks,” their half-hour radio drama, on March 31. They will be reading before an audience at the First Baptist Church in Kalamazoo as part of the All Ears Theatre radio broadcast series on WMUK-FM. “The GPS Play,” another one-act, will be performed May 4 as part of the Visiting Writers’ Story on Stage program in Ludington, Mich.
Johnston will give a concert, “Songs You Thought You Knew,” at the Kalamazoo Public Library on May 8. He will be performing his translations of songs by Jacques Brel, Gabriel Fauré, Edith Piaf, Kurt Weill, Charles Aznavour, and others.
Clearly, the duo does not have plans for too many quiet evenings in. They just returned from the Feb. 17-19 performance of the one-act play, ”Froth with Complications,” which was part of Brief Acts’ Blizzard of Plays at the Producers’ Club in New York City. Johnston and Percy continue as Arts and Entertainment columnists for the national triquarterly, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, for which they’ve written eight pieces on film, drama, and literature.
After a busy 2011 and fervent start to 2012, the pace is holding strong—apparently, this is one habit that will not be kicked.