It's August 1969 in Clover, Mississippi. Miss May's grandson is missing in action in Vietnam. The family goes into a tail spin and blame each other. May's granddaughter Katie, at her encouragement, runs away to the Mississippi Coast with her boyfriend, AJ, to take the promised pictures of waves and beach, feeling that this fulfilled promise will bring her brother home. May's son runs away to supposedly go fishing rather than face his French wife, Jenny, and her accusations of his letting "her son join the Marines to finally get some praise from his father." The only ones holding this shattered family together are May's fashionable and witty sister, June and May's old flame, Judge Wilton Morris. All May's efforts to find hope for her grandson's return through Katie's actions only sends her granddaughter into unexpected perilous danger. Now the aging and stagnant May has to save her.
A story in two voices; Memory looks back on a time when she was a girl, Thought as the girl relives her thoughts at that time as the story is told. Lonely Memory/Thought recount the discovery of bones in the woods, the meeting of a black girl who lost her mother years before to the woods, and an unlikely friendship and quest to discover the truth and seek retribution in rural Mississippi. 1966. Late summer.
A soldier of fortune, Luke, returns to America to discover that he has a sixteen-year-old daughter, Sylvie. She has gotten involved with gangs and drugs in New York City. He takes her from her mother's funeral out into the woods for his version of rehab. While there he becomes trapped in his memories of the war torn African nation where he first met Angela, Sylvie's mother, and relives their impossible love affair as he is forced to face his own addiction to killing.
Katherine, a professional woman in her middle years, has entered a family planning clinic to terminate her third pregnancy. She meets a person from her past that brings back unwanted memories from her childhood. These memories in turn cause Katherine’s two younger “selves” from her previous clinic visits to come to life. Her younger personae force her to relive the reasons for her first two terminations and to look more closely at her present course of action.
A homeless Vietnam Vet, Scottie, seeks a place to die in dignity. He lands a job cleaning Jenny’s apartment, an elderly woman in the East Village. They discover they are likened spirits. Kenny, his drug-running street friend steals Jenny’s wedding rings and a conflict ensures between the two “Vets.” Scottie has to choose between the familiar anger that keeps him alive, and the uncertain peace that he has learned from Jenny as he slowly deteriorates from AIDS.
The play takes place in Clover, Mississippi, 1947. The homecoming soldiers are trying to pick up their lives and reestablish themselves within their community. Much to Miss May’s distress, her son Buddy brings home a bride from France. Jenny is immediately alienated from the family and befriends Rosa, the family maid. Not understanding the ‘rules’ of her new home, Jenny mistakenly endangers Rosa’s son which creates a series of violent actions. The men are forced to find a balance between the war they just fought overseas and the one that threatens to break their family and community apart.
The play takes place in Clover, Mississippi, 1919. The war to end all wars is over and May and June Clayton and their step cousin Dora anticipate pursuing their dreams in this new world despite the plans of the domineering Papa Finis. Unlike her sister and cousin, May has no interest in marrying. Her only desire is to own and run the family hardware store until she meets John Marshall Delaney, a returning soldier. This war shattered man blindly starts off a series of events that changes the texture of Papa Finis' plans for the girls and molds the politics of their community for the next four decades.
It's the late seventies in New York City and Elaine is frustrated and unable to write because she is strapped for rent money and in danger of losing her apartment. She and her girlfriend, Claire decide to spend the evening charming an old friend to lend it to her. But what started as an innocent dinner party, turns into an intriguing mystery as she discovers a rare diary written by a fifteenth century nun hidden by one of her dinner guests to steal from his patron. The search for this rare manuscript turns into a wild and crazy East Village frenzy that moves from Tompkins Square Park and back into the apartment and onto the building roof in the form of a rent party gone awry. All of these quirky intrigues are observed by the park's Homeless Poet as she weaves her poems to the beat of the park drums. Elaine is finally pushed out into the park, losing her home to her seven "deadly" friends and bonds with the Homeless Poet, finally understanding the true meaning of being an artist.
Brian, a playwright, returns to New York on Halloween night after a one year trip across country escaping personal failures and goes to his best friend, Steve's apartment to commit suicide. While there, he discovers how successful Steve has become from his failed play and how his friend has taken over the affections of his ex-girlfriend, Sarah. Then the suicide plan changes to something else. He plans to drive the friend to the brink of insanity and expose a dark secret to his ex-girlfriend in order to win her back. The plan takes a bizarre turn and leads to more than he anticipated.
A group of performers are rehearsing and filming some of children ghost stories for a next day’s Faulkner Festival. These performers inadvertently evoke the spirit of the ghosts that haunt Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's home, and get trapped into reliving the Civil War love story that ends with a tragic death. If they don't change the ending before the hour of the wolf, the darkness before dawn, none of them may live to see the next day.
Stories From Home consists of many folk tales often heard in their countries of origin, but rarely recounted here in America. The ensemble narrates and dramatize the tales. The tales are connected by actor-characters' personal stories about their journey to becoming American. Their personal themes are echoed back into the tales. The play shows the human struggle for not only survival, but to find a connection toward unity in our culturally diverse America. Stories From Home relies on the talents of seven multinational actors plus one percussionist. The piece has very few costume or set demands and can easily travel.
Ron W. Ripley, a ruthless lawyer for logging companies, has been reported missing in his private plane. Eloise, his Native American wife known as Walking Woman, is a passenger in the plane. Because of a deal he has just made to cut the last of the virgin forest on Native lands, she has turned into a silent figure on the edge of death. She prepares herself in her silence for a vision quest. She brings back their younger selves that entwine into Ripley's daydreams and slowly becomes key players in their stark reality as the plane crashes in a dense forest in Northern Maine.
The story is structured around the rituals attached to a Native American Sacred Circle, a Medicine Circle. The play shows the present and past turning points in the character's lives. Through their shared experiences in the forest of Maine, they discover where they had lost their way along their life paths and now need one another to create a balance to continue to live. They are half moons that need to embrace the dark and light side in order to be whole.
Elderly Jenny, who finds herself unable to take care of herself. She is moved to the hospital, then a nursing home. Her daughter struggles to do the right thing for her, but is caught up in the politics and bureaucracy of the medical system. While the turmoil of settling her into her new life evolves, Jenny slowly slips into dementia and starts seeing her reality as segments of relived past from her childhood in war torn France, to coming to America as a bride. Each turn of her present situation triggers a memory from her journey through life in pursuit of her American Dream.