William "Peppy" Biddy receives Cowboy Maloney Award, MTA's Highest Award. Presented by Stephen Cunetto (L) and Thomas Hardy (R).

William “Peppy” Biddy receives Cowboy Maloney Award, MTA’s Highest Award. Presented by Stephen Cunetto (L) and Thomas Hardy (R).

The Mississippi Theatre Association awarded William “Peppy” Biddy with the 2015 Cowboy Maloney Award, named in honor of former MTA president and former owner of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City and Appliance Centers in Mississippi. The Award is MTA’s highest award. Biddy was recognized at the MTA Festival held in Oxford, MS January 18 for his outstanding service to the Mississippi Theatre Association and theatre in Mississippi.

The MTA Board of Directors selects an individual who has significantly added to the successful operation of MTA and someone who has promoted theatre throughout the State of Mississippi. The Board looks at actions that reflect a positive image, regional recognition, long tenure, and program establishment and/or administrative service.

According to Stephen Cunetto, MTA Executive Director, “the Board of Directors voted unanimously to bestow the organization’s highest award on Biddy”. Cunetto added “Peppy has been a teacher, mentor, confidant, and friend not only to MUW students but also to hundreds of people throughout the State of Mississippi. He embodies all of the qualities of a leader who quietly influences all that come in contact with him.”

Peppy Biddy is currently Professor of Theatre & Director of Graduate Studies (MFA Program at Accadamia dell’Arte in Arrezo, Italy) at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. During his tenure at The W, he has received the Kossen Award for Faculty Excellence, the Lowndes County Educator of the Year Award, and was named the 2008 HEADWAE Outstanding Faculty Honoree by the Mississippi Legislature. He earned his MFA in Theatre at Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and has worked as either actor, director, or stage manager at such companies as Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas Summer Musicals, Casa Mañana (Ft. Worth, TX), Dallas Children’s Theatre, Dallas Repertory Theatre, Theatre Three (Dallas), Mill Mountain Theatre (Roanoke, VA), New Stage Theatre (Jackson, MS). He has served as the Production Manager for the Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah since the year 2000. Mississippi audiences may have seen Biddy in the role of Wilbur in Hairspray and Robert in Boeing-Boeing at New Stage Theatre in Jackson, where he has also directed a number of plays and musicals including: The Foreigner, The Marvelous Wonderettes, The 39 Steps, Smokey Joe’s Café, Gutenberg: The Musical!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Idols of the King, The Fantasticks, Crowns, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, and A Grand Night For Singing. Biddy has also served as the vice chair and chair of the MTA College/University Division; MTA Secretary as well as served on several committees.

During the award ceremony, Thomas Hardy, MTA President stated that “The MTA Board is very appreciative of Peppy’s dedication to teaching and service and his commitment to improving theatre arts in Mississippi. This award could not go to a more deserving individual.”

The Mississippi Theatre Association seeks to foster appreciation of and participation in children’s, college, community, high school, professional and university theatre in Mississippi. For more information visit http://www.mta-online.org.