Here’s a round of applause for Jubilee Theatre artistic director Ed Smith and Fort Worth actor/frequent Jubilee collaborator Aaron Petit. The Black Theatre Troupe of Phoenix, AZ has invited Smith to direct and Petit to star in their staging of Romulus Linney’s “A Lesson Before Dying,” which opens February 18.

FW theater audiences got to see Smith’s discerning take on this harrowing play – which concerns a reluctant schoolteacher assigned to teach an illiterate young death row inmate how to value his own life during its final weeks – exactly two years ago this month on the Jubilee stage. That show earned Mandel Hill – who played the teacher – a best actor award in the “Weekly”’s 2008 “Best Of” issue. Petit is known around these parts as a resourceful comic actor, so we’re curious to read the notices he gets in Phoenix for playing the wrongly condemned, rage-filled prisoner.