I’ve know Mimmye since the 80s when I appeared in her production of “Handy” and our friendship has continued. The respect
that I have for her came during the play as I observed her determination to produce the work of the great W.C. Handy. Eventually I saw Mimmye as a quiet powerhouse of a woman/artist who took the cast to Handy’s birthplace in Alabama for a performance at the Handy Festival. Mimmye is not content to sit back, but she’s a lady who is not afraid to use her hands so the work will be complete and worthwhile.

I learned that she was capable of wearing any hat necessary to get a job done. When asked if she would support the Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis, she did not hesitate. I have watched her grace Memphis stages in various memorable roles as actress and as musician. I’ve seen her in films and commercials. Yet she is always Mimmye when you meet her. While elegant and a real southern lady, she’s proven that she can get a project done and is a savvy business woman. I was privileged to have her perform two of my plays and her portrayals were effortless and believable.

Here’s a real cliche, but it’s true — when they made Mimmye, they broke the mold!

Ruby O. Gray, playwright, entertainer, producer, founder of Bluff City Tri-Art Theatre Company and of Womens Theatre Festival of Memphis.