Who's Who

John McConnell (Huey P. Long)

John McConnell (Huey P. Long) was born and raised in Bayou country and holds a Master’s degree in acting from L.S.U. His career has taken him to Hollywood for three seasons on the ABC’s hit comedy Roseanne. McConnell has over 100 film, television, stand up comedy, voice over and stage performances to his credit. Best known for his theatrical portrayals of Louisiana’s most colorful politicians, his most memorable roles include Huey P. Long in his triumphant Off-Broadway production of The Kingfish and Earl K. Long in the smash hit 3-year Southern tour of Earl Long in Purgatory. Besides being a favorite in Southern-based film and stage productions, John is also a living landmark, honored with a life-sized bronze statue on New Orleans’ historic Canal Street commemorating his portrayal of Ignatius J. Reilly from the stage adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Confederacy of Dunces. But it’s on his weekday radio talk show that Spud really shines. John is the number one Arbitron rated talk host in his time slot and was recently honored by Gambit Weekly and New Orleans Magazine as one of the best talk hosts and shows in New Orleans. John "Spud" McConnell hosts WWL’s "Talk Gumbo" weekdays from 1pm to 4pm on WWL-AM-FM & WWL.com. John is married to actress Maureen McConnell and together they have 3 children.

Larry L. King and Ben Z. Grant (Co-Authors)

Larry L. King (Co-Author) with Ben Z. Grant of The Kingfish, has written 14 books and these additional plays: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Night Hank Williams Died, The Golden Shadows Old West Museum, The Dead Presidents’ Club, and a one-act play Christmas 1933.  He co-authored the screenplay for the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  The Larry L. King Theater was dedicated in Austin, Texas in 2006.  Larry is the only writer to be nominated for a Broadway Tony, a television Emmy and a National Book Award. 


Ben Z. Grant (Co-Author) with Larry L. King of The Kingfish has written six additional plays. His most recent novel is The Wolf Has No Pillow. Ben grew up in Vernon Parish, LA.  He attended Panola College, Northwestern State University and the University of Texas School of Law. He has served in the Texas Legislature, as District Judge, and on the Texas Court of Appeals.  His daughter, Brea, is an actress in movies and on television.  His son, Zane, writes comic books in New York City. 

Perry Martin (Director)

Perry Martin (Producer / Director) is the President of Evangeline Entertainment, a company that offers development & consulting services for the theatre, concert, television, film, talent & facility management industries. He is the Producing Artistic Director for the Halifax Theatre Co. & the Bayou Playhouse. National television appearances include; CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, ABC Nightly News & CNN. Mr. Martin was awarded a National Telly Award for Advertising and continues to participate as an annual judge for the Daytime Emmy Awards. New York theatrical credits include: The Kingfish, as well as the world premieres of A Different Woman & Mirrors Of Chartres Street.  He was the developmental consultant for the National tour of Smoke & Mirrors, starring Anthony Herrera of As The World Turns. Mr. Martin has directed & produced over 80 theatrical productions including the world premieres of Earl Long in Purgatory, Miz Caraway & the Kingfish, Spiritual Gifts, Tant Que Durera La Terre, A Confederacy of Dunces, Floating Palace and 5 newly discovered Tennessee Williams plays. His award winning regional premieres include; The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Walk in the Woods, Filumena, Okra, All My Sons, The Great Big Doorstep, Tiger Tail, I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow, Burn This, and The Playboy of the Western World. Perry also so-founded and directed all six seasons for the Bayou Playhouse.

Karissa Kary (Associate Producer)

Karissa Kary is an avid writer and producer whose travels and work have taken her to the Missouri Ozarks, Europe, Asia, South America and often find her in New Orleans. A co-founder and management consultant for Greenlight Operations, focused on artists and businesses emphasizing social responsibility, she has been involved with the Festival for over ten years and is currently the Director of Communications and Marketing. Ms. Kary has been the production manager of numerous staged productions including five previously unpublished one-acts by Tennessee Williams and is the co-Founder and Producing Managing Director for Halifax Theatre Company, a regional touring company that toured The Kingfish and opened The Bayou Playhouse which seeks to showcase the rich culture and heritage of Louisiana. karissakary.com