a new play

- Mexican Proverb

All South Carolinians - all new to this kind of money 

SUGAR - Matriarch, African-American woman 50
JOHNNIE - White, angry, artistic temperament, on edge, 17
JACKSON - Johnnie's Dad, clownish, kind, weak, 50
BRAD - Sugar's son, young highway patrolman, 19
ANNALYN - Johnnie's older sister, perfect, sweet, 18
HANK - Jackson's grandpaw, 70, a perfect granddad


Diversity in America: Southern Black and White Women Discuss Race Together
- Politics Daily

All in the (mixed-race) family: a US trend

Data show a significant rise in mixed-race families due to interracial marriages and multiracial adoptions. 

- Christian Science Monitor, 2003


Rock Creek is a fictional town in the Charlotte-Gastonia metro area. A generation ago it was smalltown nowhere, 2 generations ago it was farmland. Now its a quaint suburb of busy Charlotte. 

Like most of the area, the average high temperature in summer is 87 degrees Fahrenheit while average highs in winter hover in the low 50’s.

Demographics: White %55, African-American %39



Southern Gothic
is a subgenre of the gothic novel, unique to American literature.

Like its parent genre, it relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot. Unlike its predecessor, it uses these tools not for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South.

"By and large people in the South still conceive of humanity in theological terms. While the South is hardly Christ-centered, it it most certainly Christ-haunted."

        - Flannery O'Connor

"It turned out to be true that for all these writers, their religious culture and issues it presented to them personally and aesthetically were of crucial importance. For some, religion has served as a prism through which to interpret human experience, for others as  a target for satire. In all cases, though, the fitting metaphor for their anguished struggle with issues of faith and doubt, of religious and aesthetic integrity, has been that of a crucible. Thus, though it may be said that the South is coming to resemble the rest of the country and that old ways are changing, [...] Flannery O'Connor's notion of the "Christ-haunted" South still holds true today."

        -  From: The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction by Susan Ketchin


Act One: Thanksgiving
Amazing Grace by Ani DiFranco...
Standing by Patty Griffin...
and I'll Fly Away by Gary Chapman and Wynonna

Act Two:  Christmas
Precious Lord by The Blind Boys of Alamaba

Act Three: Easter
When It Don't Come Easy by Patty Griffin (the song start at 1:45)...
 Up To The Mountain by Patty Griffin...
 and when the choir starts rocking out: Power In The Blood by Larri White...
or "Lord Help Me Hold Out" or Victory is Mine
Will The Circle Be Unbroken by John Kilzer


Johnnie's Emo...

Emo  is a style of rock music typically characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk.

Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the platinum-selling success ofJimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional and the emergence of the subgenre "screamo". In recent years the term "emo" has been applied by critics and journalists to a variety of artists, including multiplatinum acts and groups with disparate styles and sounds.

Emo Fashion - http://emorawr.com/what-is-the-emo-fashion-style


Sugar's Illness:

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy (his-tur-EK-tuh-mee) is a surgery to remove a woman's uterus or womb. The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The whole uterus or just part of it may be removed.

"From 1988 through 1993, almost twice as many women received hysterectomies in the South (6.8 per 1000 women) as in the Northeast (3.9)" - CDC Report

How long does it take to recover from a hysterectomy?

Recovering from a hysterectomy takes time. Most women stay in the hospital from 1 to 2 days for post-surgery care. Some women may stay longer, often when the hysterectomy is done because of cancer.

The time it takes for you to resume normal activities depends on the type of surgery. If you had:
Abdominal surgery. Recovery takes from 4 to 6 weeks. You will gradually be able to increase your activities.
Vaginal or laparoscopic surgery. Recovery takes 3 to 4 weeks.

You should get plenty of rest and not lift heavy objects for a full 6 weeks after surgery. About 6 weeks after either surgery, you should be able to take tub baths and resume sexual intercourse. Research has found that women with a good sex life before hysterectomy can maintain it after the surgery.

The larger SC area...
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"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd."
                              -  Flannery O'Connor

"Where you come from is gone, where you're going to weren't never there, and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."
                             -  Flannery O'Connor


Tragedy and the Common Playwright

by Lauren Gunderson

I need to ask Arthur Miller a question.

The play I’m working on this summer with Bay Area Playwrights Festival (Rock Creek: Southern Gothic) needs his help. The end isn’t working. It hasn’t been working. Why is it not working? The first 2 acts are strong enough to build some rolling momentum, to launch major questions, to define this very special world, to flood this world with the possible, the impossible, the serious, the ridiculous, the human, the musical, the horrible. But after all that the climax isn’t climaxing, isn’t real, isn’t earned, isn’t satisfying. Why? I don’t know. I’m stuck. So I ask Arthur Miller. We talk about tragedy.*


Thad hayes whitehttp://nestegg.typepad.com/.a/6a01156e5d7bde970c011570197715970b-450wi

"Family dinners are more often than not an ordeal of nervous indigestion, preceded by hidden resentment and ennui and accompanied by psychosomatic jitters.”
 -  MFK Fisher




Johnnie's Addiction...

Just Once: Meth

1 In 33 Teens Admit Trying Meth
(WebMD) A new survey shows that one in 33 U.S. teens has tried meth, nearly a quarter say it would be easy to get meth, and some see benefits to meth use." CBS News

Signs of Meth Use:

Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that affects dopamine, one the essential neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. It can cause long-term damage to the brain's ability to produce dopamine, and therefore users often feel extremely depressed and can not experience normal feelings of happiness and contentment long after they stop using. For this reason it has one of the highest relapse rates for addicts and is considered extremely resistant to treatment. This a highly addictive drug sold as pills, capsules, or powder and it can be ingested, injected, snorted, or smoked. Many abusers use it for its appetite-suppressing effects. A toxic reaction can occur at relatively small doses (50 mg) in some people, particularly first-time users who can not tolerate the effects.

What to Look for:

Euphoric "high" state (excessively happy)


Decreased appetite/weight loss

Increased physical activity

Anxiety, shaking hands, nervousness

Incessant talking

Increased temperature (can rise as high as 108 degrees and cause death)

Convulsions at high doses

Chest pain, elevated blood pressure

Dilated pupils

Dry or itchy skin


Sweating not related to physical activity

Irritable and moody (mood swings)

Picking at skin or hair

Aggressive or violent behavior

Depression (withdrawal/tolerance effect)

"Three broad conclusions can be reached about the  trends and impact of methamphetamine in South Carolina. First, evidence of significant increases in methamphetamine use and abuse over the past decade was found across a wide array of epidemiological, health services, and law enforcement indicators. However, on almost every indicator examined, recent one- to two-year (and occasionally longer) trends suggest a downturn in meth-related problems. While it is too early to tell whether these recent declines represent a true downward trend, the consistency of this finding across a diverse set of indicators suggests it
is more than an anomaly. Second, despite the significant increases in methamphetamine use and abuse, methamphetamine continues to represent a relatively small slice of the overall drug
problem in the state. Other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana continue to be the major drugs of abuse in the state, as well as primary contributors to drug-related morbidity and
mortality. Third, the meth problem in South Carolina is not equally distributed throughout the state. This report finds that the meth problem is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Upstate, with other prominent pockets occurring in the Midlands around Lexington and the Low Country around Charleston." - METHAMPHETAMINE IN SOUTH CAROLINA: A REPORT ON TRENDS AND IMPACT