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Jaston Williams to Perform Camping With Gasoline in Lubbock

Brenda Ladd Photography, Austin

A notable playwright and West Texas-bred storyteller will perform in Lubbock next month.

Jaston Williams, a Crosbyton native and of Greater Tuna fame, will perform his newest one-man show “Camping with Gasoline” in the Hub City on September 21st and 22nd.

In “Camping with Gasoline,” Williams discusses some of his experiences growing up, such as his Boy Scout Troop, whose main activities were smoking, gambling, and sleeping late.

Williams also relives some of his family Christmas events, which he has dubbed “Blood and Holly,” and his experience of having to outrun gangs of armed, hostage-taking subversives that chased him and a group of tourists down a rumbling volcano in Guatemala.

“It’s kind of a salute, in many ways, to the story-telling tradition that we have in West Texas,” Williams said during an interview with KFYO News. “We have the best story-tellers anywhere. You go into any restaurant early in the morning and just relax long enough to get some old boy going, and you hear some really funny and wonderful stuff.”

The title refers to Williams’ experience as a Boy Scout in the area. “We weren’t the type to rub two sticks together to start a fire. We always had a couple of cans of gasoline and just got right to the chase, as it were. We had a gambling tent, and a scout master with a monkey, and they never invited us back to scout camp,” said Williams.

Humor is more than just a diversion for people to Williams, who firmly believes that laughter can help people through bad situations.

“Tragedy and comedy are just one step removed from each other,” said Williams. “There’s an amazing sadness to it, and there’s an amazing tension, but it’s seldom without humor. When you get up there and tell this in a language and accent that people relate to, I think it helps people heal, and I know that laughter helps people heal.”

KFYO’s Cole Shooter discussed Camping with Gasoline, growing up in West Texas, and life in general with Williams this week. The complete interview is available below.

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Williams premiered another one-man show, “Blame it on Valentine, Texas,” at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center three years ago.

He has toured nationally, and taken on roles by writers such as Shakespeare, Chekov, Ionesco, Wilder, Genet, and Sondheim. He has received the Texas Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a Native Texan, the L.A. Drama-logue Award, and the Austin’s Critics Circle Award, just to name a few.

Jaston Williams will do three performances of Camping with Gasoline at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. They will be at 7 p.m. Friday, September 21st, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, September 22st.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $50, and can be purchased at all Select-A-Seat outlets. They can be reached at 770-2000 and at www.selectaseatlubbock.com.

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