Weep No More Today

(a two act drama)

(writing sample)  (return to plays)

Production History:

Award, Moxie Films, New Century Writers, 2004.

Finalist for the Christopher Brian Wolk Award for 2003.  Abingdon Theatre Company, NY reading Fall 2003 & staged reading Winter 2004. Coffee Club Cafe, Montclair, NJ reading of play scheduled Fall 2003. Theatre Conspiracy, 6th Annual New Play Contest, finalist 2003

Playwrights Forum readings of excerpts from new plays.  Rattlesticks Theatre, NY, Spring 2002.

Final round in the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.  Spring 2002.
Story:

It is 1946, the aftermath of World War II and Miss May, with the help of Rosa, her clever domestic worker, has been running the family hardware store for four years while her son was fighting in Europe.  Buddy returns home with a French wife who accidentally starts another war in the small town of Clover, Mississippi.  Miss May is forced to choose between the life of her wartime companion’s son and the future of her own son as the returning soldiers try to rekindle the ways of their “Old South.”   

Characters in order of appearance:

Rosa Wallace:  Early forties:  Family domestic worker.  She has a special relationship with her employer.  They have spent the war years struggling together.  She is a widow with a teenage son and grown daughter.  Still very beautiful despite her hard life.

Elizabeth May Delaney (Miss May), mid fifties.  Very set in her ways yet having really found herself during the past years as she has successfully kept the family hardware business going.  A penny pincher and all-by-the-rules type of woman.

Jeannine Pelletier Delaney (Jenny), early twenties, French.  High spirited and full of joy to be in this new land of the free and away from war torn France.  She is stubborn and wants things to go her way.   Still a child in many ways despite the terror she had gone through during the war.

Buddy Delaney: late twenties.  He is a haunted man not only by his war experiences, but also by the memory of what his father taught him to be.  He is excited by the exotic qualities of a French bride, but impractical about his responsibilities.  Always escaping from the here and now.

Shelby Jackson, late thirties.  Buddy’s “big brother” and father’s best friend, though they are not blood related.  Shelby has been the leader, the ideal man to Buddy and Sheriff in the town before the war and now after the war.  He will and has gone to any length to get what he desires and what he really desires is forbidden.

 Act One:

Scene One, The First Supper: Late April.  Early evening. 

Scene Two, The Wedding: The first morning. 

Scene Three, The Honeymoon: Later that night.

Act Two:

Scene One, The Morning After:  The second morning.  

Scene Two, The First Fight.  That early evening.  

Scene Three, The Silence.  That night.   

Scene Four, The Goodbyes. Later that night.

Set:

The kitchen is in a house near the center of Clover, Mississippi town square in an active neighborhood.  There is a high ceiling, possibly a fan.  There are three entries; from the dinning room where the telephone table is located (seen through the frame walls) which also leads to the front door of the house, from the back hallway where the bedrooms and bath are located, and from the back porch (seen).  The appendix rooms are implied with structural framing so the characters can be seen as they cross into the extreme areas.  The kitchen is realistic and mostly functioning.  There is a mirror on the back of the kitchen door that leads into the bedroom area.  The furniture is depression style.  Kitchen table, four chairs, rocking chair, a shelf with knickknacks, an ancient electric icebox, oven, stove, sink, cabinets and counters.  The screened porch has a bench, an old Maytag (or other brand circa 1920) washing machine, and clothesline outside on the exposed porch.

Sounds:

There are near constant sounds from outside the house that invade the kitchen environment:

During the day, the children are playing through the backyard and along the side of the house.  A mule drawn brush wagon passes on the street, which is located at the front of the house.  In the hot afternoons, there are occasional burst of cicadas and chattering birds from the backyard trees.  It is not constant, but insistent throughout the day scenes.  On the cooler day only the birds are heard.

At night, there is a constant buzzing of night crickets and cicadas.  The sounds in the Mississippi night are full of life, constant, unrelenting, a chorus of dissonant buzzing and clicking and chirping.  It has a unique spirit that echoes through the kitchen.

Recorded:  (Could possibly use existing actors as the recorded voices)

Diane and Wanda:  Two little girls around ten years old. Mr. Collins (brush man) & mule wagon. Radio Preacher. Train and whistle. Truck & car coming and going in back driveway. Cicadas & crickets.