In This Section

CCU performance reexamines assassination of Sen. Huey Long

March 22, 2002

A staged reading of a new audience-interactive play, Who Killed The Kingfish: The Huey Long Murder Case, will be presented in Coastal Carolina University's Edwards Theater on April 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. The performances are free and open to the public.

The two-act play is based on David Zinman's book The Day Huey Long Was Shot, which challenges the official version of Louisiana Sen. Huey Long's controversial assassination. According to Zinman, what really happened when the infamous Southern demagogue was assassinated in 1935 in the state capitol building in Baton Rouge remains disputed. The play surmises what might have happened if Long's alleged assailant, Dr. Carl Austin Weiss, had not been killed by a barrage of bullets from Long's bodyguards. The courtroom drama recreates Weiss' fictional trial and offers possible answers to questions that have puzzled the public and historians for more than 65 years.

The play, written by Zinman and Michael Wynne, is produced by Coastal Professor Chuck Whetzel's directing class. During both performances, 12 volunteers from the audience will be selected to make up the jury. The jury writes the ending of the play with its verdict.

Zinman, who resides in Conway, worked for the Associated Press in New Orleans from 1959 to 1965 and for Newsday from 1965 to 1992. He writes a weekly column for a local newspaper.

Wynne, director of several recent symposiums on former Louisiana governors - Huey Long, Earl Long and Jimmie Davis - has published several articles on the history of Louisiana. He has worked as a state probation and parole officer for more than 20 years in Louisiana.

For more information, call 349-2015.