The Sitting Stone December 2008

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The Prince of Tides meets Sounder. An intensely emotional play about two African American families in Alabama and New Orleans. The matriarchs of each family are the backbone and seek ways to solve the …

The Prince of Tides meets Sounder. An intensely emotional play about two African American families in Alabama and New Orleans. The matriarchs of each family are the backbone and seek ways to solve the family issues in both families. This is a wonderful play for a cast of 30.

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  • 1. THE SITTING STONE BY DIANE CAMERON © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FROM THE DRAMA INTERVENTIONS COLLECTION (THE FAMILY IN CRISIS) FOR PERMISSION TO USE – usaartistobenin@aol.com This play is centered in a fictitious Coastal southern Alabama town in Baldwin County called Shrimp Bay in the late 1980’s where the main Commerce is centered on fishing, crabbing, and paper mills. The play opens with the main character Ms. Juba Lee Taylor sitting on the family front porch with her great-grandson “Swift”. Swift is on the porch practicing on the guitar. On the porch is a large marble stone. It serves as a bittersweet reminder of her grandson “Samuel II who is Swift’s father. Sam met an accidental death on a shrimp boat accident. The marble stone was a Christmas present that Sam was working on for his wife Belma when he was killed. He was planning on surprising his wife by carving Belma’s name in stone and was just about finished when he passed, Sam had carved the letters B E L in the marble, and the only remaining letters to be carved are M and A. Ms. Juba Lee keeps it on the porch in the same spot Sam was working on it as a reminder of the grandson she loved so very much. Ms. Juba Lee calls it the “Sitting Stone” because she goes there to sit on it when she prays. Swift lives with his great-grandmother and never sits on the stone. Characters: Ms. Juba Lee – Elderly Black Woman, determined and strong, speaks in a calm soothing voice with slow, easy and direct mannerisms. Habitually she adjusts and readjusts her glasses. She has been a widow for 30 years and is well loved in Shrimp Bay.. She is in her late 70’s, and makes several references to being cold throughout the entire play…..
  • 2. Swift – African American Boy of approximately 15 years old… he is easygoing, deep- thinking laidback personality, which has earned him the nickname “Swift.” He is the great grandson of Ms. Juba Lee. His real name is Samuel Alfonso Taylor III. His daddy was killed accidentally. He lives with his great grandmother Ms. Juba Lee. (It is highly rumored in the family that Samuel the II was Ms. Juba Lee’s favorite grandson…although she fiercely denies this) Belma – Belma is the complex self-centered estranged mother of Swift, the widowed wife of the Late Samuel Taylor, She is also an Jazz Singer, and is often out of town quite frequently on performance tours. She is a very good looking woman and attracts a lot of attention, much to the chagrin of her mother-in-law Ms. Juba Lee who wishes she would hold the memory of her grandson with a much higher esteem than she does. She is a very flirtatious and educated woman and never felt that the Samuel II was good enough for her. She is in her late 30’s. Turner Davis – Turner Davis is the “boy next door” that has always had a crush on Belma. His presence in her life is the main reason why Swift moved in with his Grandmother. He is a local club owner in Baldwin County and man about town. He likes Belma, and although they are engaged, is very evasive with her about a wedding date.. Turner is very keenly aware that Belma is not the kind of woman that he really wants to marry though he is “engaged” has made no attempt to finalize a wedding date. Turner is strong in many ways…but weak when it comes to Belma. PaPa – PaPa is the brother of Turner Davis. He is called PaPa because he is much much older than Turner and even as a child, Turner called him PaPa. He was very instrumental raising Turner both morally and spiritually. He is a slight built man with an extremely shy manner. He is from Baldwin County, Alabama. His first wife Connie passed after contracting breast cancer early in their marriage; she was from New Orleans and was the reason why PaPa settled there. His second wife Angelique is originally from New Orleans. He is a jewelry maker by trade. His real name is Titus Davis. He is the gentle giant in the life of Turner Davis. He and his family reside in New Orleans. Reebie – is an energetic young girl whose parents (PaPa and Angelique) live in New Orleans, she views the entire world with wide-eyed amazement, is very curious and loves to read science fiction books. She asks a lot of questions and is very independent. She is the only child of PaPa and Angelique. Her real name is Rebecca Marie. Angelique – is the New Orleans born Second wife of PaPa…She is much younger than her husband. Her family’s bloodline comes from the Ribeaux’s, a wealthy prominent Black family from New Orleans. Her family disapproved of her marrying PaPa since he was not originally from New Orleans and other reasons, but PaPa’s gentle character
  • 3. and fierce devotion to Angelique won them over. She is a very fair-skinned woman with impeccable manners and charm.. She is often called Lee Ma Zoë – is the mother of Angelique – she is the matriarch of the Ribeaux family and has a secret that she has kept from everyone outside her household …She is a beautiful woman for her age of 70ish and has a passion for collecting colored rocks from her travels. Her wish is for young Reebie to have this collection at her death. Reebies Friends: Children who live in Rreebie’s neighborhood in New Orleans…. these actors will jump rope, have tea parties and general children activities…Their roles may be expanded to speaking lines. Sonny – (Creole in appearance) Owner of Bechet’s…. the nightclub where Belma Taylor plays with the King Morrison Jazz Ensemble. Miss Lou - She is the cook/server/hostess at Club Bechets. It is very apparent that she runs the restaurant. Minister – Soft Spoken and gentle… but direct. Junior Smith – 14-16 year old friend of Swift’s from the boys club Pearl Smith - Junior’s Mother Nightclub Patrons 10-12 patrons needed for this scene male and female mix Church Congregation – same actors for nightclub scene (isn’t that reality) plus children and other extras as available… Band Members - For Set Up scene at Bechets, also double as church members. Hospital workers Opening Act - The Sitting Stone Scene 1 Act 1 (Scene opens with Ms. Juba Lee sitting outside on the porch with her grandson Swift…Although, it is a hot October day, She has a blanket around her shoulders and Swift is sitting with his arms resting on his knees reading a newspaper as Ms. Juba Lee talks, she is now in her 70’s and begins to reflect on her life… she is talking to her grandson………but she is also talking to herself.)
  • 4. Juba Lee: Seems like I never membered October being as cool as it gets here lately. Maybe just means I’m getting old and things a’int clear as they used to be. Swift: (Reading the Newspaper and never looks up) you a’int getting old Mommajube Juba Lee: Oh yes I am……..but it’s alright……. I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now...no sireee…I’ve been a blessed woman………… Swift: The register says the cross bay spressway is just about completed…. Mamajube. Juba Lee: Yeah…. I heard and it’s a good thing and a bad thing……. Good in the way that it will ‘low folks to get back and forth to Mobile easier from Point Bay…….but bad in the way it messes up memories of how it used to be for folks in my generation……..Why I remember (conversation is interrupted by the telephone ringing inside the home) Swift: I’ll get that momma………… (Ms. Juba Lee sits looking very reflective and stares up at the sky………..Swift is inside on the telephone) Ms. Juba Lee: (looking up at the sky and raises her arms in an upward manner)…….Lord……..long as I been here in Shrimp Bay ..I’ve seen so much change………some good………..some not so good…….and some just plain awful……..one good thing ‘bout it though………You never change…….you been a good God ‘fo I was born and you’ll be a good God after I’m gone…….(her conversation is interrupted by the sound of Swift calling her to the telephone) Swift: (Calls her from inside the house) Mamajube…Mamajube…… Juba Lee: Boy quit hollin my name……..come out here and tell me Swift: (Comes back out to the porch with a worried look on his face) (He speaks in a very very concerned tone of voice) Telephone….. Juba Lee: Who is it Swift? Swift: (Swift is silent and then says softly) it’s Belma ….. Juba Lee: Bring me the phone out here boy……hurr’ up……. (Swift brings the phone to Juba Lee and and then goes back into the house………Juba Lee waits a few seconds before she speaks) Belma? Chile…….is you ok? She listens on the phone for a few seconds and then says….Where are ya? My heart was pounding so when swift said yo’ name……I wanted to run to the phone and run way from it at the
  • 5. same time………Why you let so long past fo’ we heerd from you? He’s doing fine…..growing and learning and trying not to let worry show on his face bout you….what boy don’t worry bout his momma?………..Na’ll this aint gone be no speech but I sho’ll wish we could hear from you mo’……..and you need to call and check on your momma-in-law ………(she pauses and looks around to see if anyone else is listening to the conversation) Belma……I’m getting old…..and I don’t see things the way I used to…..Its some thangs we need to talk bout real real soon…..When you coming home? New Orleans ain't that far away from here…….Ok……..well tell Mama Zoë & Papa I asked about em and tell Reebie that Swift did too…..(pause) why don’t you tell him yoself? (pause)Well it never hurt to say it again……..(pause) Ok…..Well call us back real soon .and Belma………..one mo thing……….Belma? Belma?…….she stares at the phone for a few seconds and hangs up……Swift!!…….Swift!! Swift: Ma’am? (from offstage) (Swift returns to the porch) Ma’am? Juba Lee: (In a animated and excited voice) Boy yo momma said goodbye and she loves you very very much and can’t wait to see you and she would a tole ya her self…but the break was over and she and the band was bout to go back on stage….. Swift: When did she say she was coming home? (Swift comes back and sits on the porch and takes a stick and begins to write in the dirt) Juba Lee: Soon… she said soon……. (her voice trails off) ( they both sit silent for a while and Juba Lee speaks………….It’s cool enough to light a fire tonight……She watches Swift as he is deep in thought……looks up at the sky for a few seconds… 2-4 Dancers come out on Summertime/Motherless Child Medley by Mahalia Jackson……At conclusion of dance the porch lights out and fade to black……(Swift and Juba Lee are totally oblivious to the dancers and hold their silhouette poses during the dance segment….A spotlight alternates between the two of them as certain references in the song refer to their situations……..) ………. End of Act 1 Scene 1 Act 1 Scene II (Scene opens in the home of Angelique in New Orleans… The living room is richly decorated and Angelique is having tea in her fine china and reading the newspaper. Enter some of Reebie’s friends to ask her out to play……….Reebie trails off with her friends)
  • 6. Angelique: Reebie! (In a loud voice facing the door) don’t get your clothes dirty…….we are going to the market this afternoon!!! Reebie: (Speaking and walking out the door) I won’t mommy…I promise… Angelique (Speaking Animatedly) Mama ………. Mama……… Did my dress arrive? MaMa Zoe (Puzzled) What Dress Lee? Angelique The one that I ordered for the Mardi Gras Ball MaMa Zoe Oh that one chile………No it never come……..maybe tomorrow……. Is there some kinna hurry fo it? Angelique Well I had it special made and I am just excited about how good I am going to look in it.. (She twirls around as it she is modeling. I’m going to represent The Royal Daughters of Purple very very well. MaMa Zoe (She looks at her daughter in an approving manner and says).. Lee…if you had on a purple denim dress….you would represent the Royal Daughters well. (Someone coming hurriedly up the stairs interrupts them) Reebie MaMa shouts Reebie (from the bottom of the steps) (Louder) MaMa…You’ve got company!! (Reebie runs in yelling) Lee Lee!!!! MaMa….. Belma is here (Reebie runs back out) (MaMa and Lee both look at each other in bewilderment MaMa Zoe brushes off her dress and shakes herself as it to prepare for unexpected company. Amgelique leaves the room……In walks Belma) MaMa Zoe Well……Belma…..What brings you here? (Belma struts in and checks her appearance in a mirror as she answers.) Belma Well, Sonny booked me this weekend to sing at his club, so since I was in town, I decided to stop in on some of my favorite folks. (MaMa Zoe is quiet to this pretense of a compliment. She knows it is all self serving and only said to benefit something that Belma wants. Belma Where did Lee go? I asked Ree what everyone was doing and she said you were talking to Lee….. Where did she go? Hope I didn’t run her off.
  • 7. (MaMa Zoe is a wise woman who doen’t fall for this line of questioning…. She is silent for a moment and then speaks MaMa Zoe Belma, you know better than anybody why she left when she knew it was it was you coming to this house. Now I don’t’ mistreat anybody, but you have a lot of nerve coming be here. My friendship with your mother in law, MaMajube and my fear of God won’t let me mistreat you. I’m gonna treat you like the Good Lord says….but I am gonna have my say about how I feel about the whole thing. One thing for sure. This is not the time and place to have that talk Tell me the name of the Hotel you are staying at and I will call you before you leave town. Where are you performing at again? (Belma is visibly taken aback at MaMa Zoe’s blunt words) Belma At Bechet’s, I will be there all weekend with the King Morrison Trio…well (she sighs) let me keep moving… Gotta lot to do before my set tonight…(pause)….(suddenly she gathers her composure as to not let her disappointment show and walks toward the door. (She looks back at MaMa Zoe and says) MaMa, I know Lee is your daughter, but there is always two sides to a story. Now, she is married to the brother of my fiancé and well…we might as well let bygones be bygones……(she is cut off from continuing her speech by MaMa Zoe) MaMa Zoe (directly) Belma…. It’s hard to let bygone’s be bygones if they still staring ya in the face….it has to be gone before it’s a bygone (animatedly)….You didn’t park by a fire hydrant did ya? I wouldn’t want you to get a ticket. Belma I’m leaving now….but one day I hope that you would have an ear to what I have to say…. (MaMa Zoe is quiet to this and a few seconds of silence ensues which is quickly interrupted by Reebie running in with her friends and talking excitedly amongst themselves) Belma Bye Reebie (Reebie politely responds to Belma and continues on into the back of the house. Belma checks herself in the mirror as she leaves the house. ( MaMa Zoe watches her from the window) MaMa Zoe (calls out to Reebie) Reebiei… Reebie….Ready to go to the market? Tell your friends you’ll be back directly) Reebie Yes Maam…. MaMa Zoe…. Let me go check on your mama and we will be on our way……..
  • 8. The dancers come back on stage for a one minute dance to Robert Johnson’s song “Stones in My Passway” - Fade to Black End Of Act I Scene II Act II – Scene One (Later that same day) This scene opens at Club Bechet’s in New Orleans. It is a very lively and colorful setting, a band is assembling their instruments in the background and they leave. There are many New Orleans style decorations and motifs assembled on the wall, Mardi Gras masks, pictures on the wall of Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, (the club is named in his honor) Dixie Land Jazz is playing in the background (from a CD). Patrons enter in intervals and are seated at tables in the club, absorbed in conversations with one another, gesturing a hello to other club patrons they recognize as they enter. A lady goes over to a table where other patrons are seated and they all acknowledge each other, after a hug and handshake, she returns to where she was sitting. Some are eating, some are drinking and all are enjoying themselves. Sonny (Looking Admirably at Turner Davis and slapping him on the back yells toward the kitchen) Miss Lou…Bring this fine gentleman a steaming bowl of yo world famous gumbo and a big bowl of crackers. (It is obvious between there is a bond of brotherhood between the two men and they continue in their conversation.) Turner Davis Look out now Sonny, I just might come back here and kidnap Miss Lou and take her back to Shrimp Bay…(He smiles and laughs real easy over this) Sonny Man…you wouldn’t get her cross the Ponchatrain good before the F.B.I, National Guard, and my momma would be after you….and my momma died 19 years ago. (They both share in mutual laughter over this) Turner Davis Did Belma say what time she was coming in for sound check? (As they talk Ms. Lou is going around refilling glasses of tea. Some of the club patrons get up and leave and some enter simultaneously. Ms. Lou brings out a to-go box for another patron and the back and forth exchange of customers in and out continues. Ms. Lou takes money from two patron’s tables and collects the tips when they leave. One patron puts the money directly in her hand) Sonny Naw Man….She didn’t say.. I just know that she will be here sometime late afternoon….Have you….. (he stops…and starts again) well what I mean is…have you
  • 9. talked to her about Papa and Angelique? I try not to get in folks business, but that stunt she pulled here at the club was uncalled for. Turner Davis Son…the way I see it is Belma is driving a wedge between me and Papa and I don’t quite know how to handle it. Belma is just a different kind of woman. Her folks come from the Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, S.C. area. I’ve met them and they are all sweet folks, but Belma is different from all of em No one really understands how she views life. She got MaMa Jube thinking we are all just one big happy family down here and it ain’t that way.. Sonny Well don’t you be the one to say nothing….. It will all be your fault by the time it is all over. Turner Davis I know, I mean Belma practically made a fool out of herself that night. It was hard enough getting Papa and Lee to come to the club to hear Belma sing, them being all religious and everything, and what does Belma do? She has too much to drink and makes a play for Papa. Man was I embarrassed. My own brother and then Angelique just burst out crying after the incident …damn that was a night. And I know I’m more than enough man for Belma, I’ve got money, well known in the community, and my club is flourishing. If I wasn’t so weak for her, I’d been long gone Sonny Has Belma apologized? Has she really shown that she is sorry? Turner Son, Belma works for you, you know how she is. She don’t see too much wrong with her actions that night. She still goes by Angelique’s house and I have told her to stay away. I guess by her continuing to go over there is her way of apologizing. I know Ma Zoe is still being cordial with her cause one day she may be sort of related and all. But Angelique wishes she would just go away. You know Son….that’s why we ain’t married. I can’t trust her….I love her but I just don’t trust her. It’s plenty of women eyeballing me all the time, I just don’t know. I’ve known Belma since she and her family moved nest door from Savannah. I was bout 10 then. I always felt she didn’t think I was good enough for her, and sometimes, with as well as I have done, I still feel that way. When she married Sam Wright, I was so jealous, then she had her boy, Lil Sam, Hell, I gave up. Then Sam had his accident. Man, I felt bad, for several reasons. Number One – For Belma and the boy and Number Two is cause I had feelings for Sam’s wife. Funny thing is, I kind of feel guilty now sometimes about being with her, as if Sam is looking in from wherever he is and saying “That Son Of A Bitch wanted my woman all the time. It’s crazy man. I don’t know, but something deep in me says she had never really loved Sam, and I ain’t really sure she really loves me. (he changes the subject) She’s going back to Europe for another 9 month tour next spring, I don’t know if this is the kind of marriage that would work and another thing I never told anybody (he is interrupted by Belma walking in)
  • 10. (In walks Belma)(Turner greets her with a kiss) and Belma’s eyes survey the room to see who is looking at her. Sonny (Winking at Turner) Hello Pretty Lady (Belma soaks in the compliment and turns toward Sonny, waves and continues talking to Turner) Belma Hi Sweetheart….Been here long? (she fusses with her hair and picks imaginary lint off of Turner’s shirt. I went to see my future mother-in-law today; she was so glad that I stopped by. Turner (Not showing reaction to what was just said by) Just a little while… where did you park? Belma I left my car in the hotel garage and took a cab…. Saw my life flash before me at least 6 times in that cab…Whew!! (Turner takes a seat) Sonny Belma let me know when you are ready for sound check (Belma nods toward Sonny and begins to look in her purse for her lipstick.) Belma Sonny…I am ready…. Do you have my tracks cued up? Sonny Everything ready to go Belle……….. Belma Turner…I will be right back to you babe….. Sonny Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing to some and Presenting to Others…Ms. Belma Taylor…(heavy applause) …but keep in mind folks this is just a sound check…got to come back at 9:00 to see the real show (more applause) (Belma stands onstage and begins to sing a powerful rendition of “God Bless the Child”) (More applause. at this time the audience will probably join in with the applause) The Dancers return to the stage in Choir robes…the dancers are at all times invisible to the actors and are only visible to the audience. End Of Act II Scene I Act II Scent II Sunday – The Following Morning Scene opens in church in New Orleans with Angelique, Papa, Reebie, Ma Zoe and other worshippers. The denomination of the church is not actually defined. Though it appears to be Catholic. Angelique, Papa and Reebie are kneeling at the altar along
  • 11. with 4 other worshippers. Several candles are lit and a cross and picture of Jesus are prominently displayed. A young girl (one of Reebie’s friends who can sing) is singing The Lord’s Prayer. At the conclusion of her song, Angelique, Papa and Reebie return to their row of seats. The minister takes center position and speaks. Minister Please All Repeat After Me, Heavenly Father (the congregation repeats) we Thank you today for your goodness and mercy. (pause) We thank you for your divine protection over us and we move and as we sleep (pause) we thank you for your son Jesus that died on the cross and rose again for our redemption. (pause) and we thank you for protection from dangers seen and unseen (pause) We thank you for the portion of your grace that allows us to love those who persecute and say all manner of evil against us (pause) Help us to love the unlovable (pause) In the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, Amen (end of corporate prayer) and Amen. Would the choir please come? We are going to conclude our services this morning with a special musical offering. (Choir members begin to assemble themselves by the altar) Miss Lou (the cook at Bechet’s) Welcome to you all. We are going to do something different today; we have chosen October as Black Gospel Month and in honor of Mahalia Jackson, who was born in October we are going to do a rendition of one of her songs “Troubles of the World” (The choir begins a soul-stirring rendition of the song) (Applause follows the song, while the choir begins leave, The Minister begins) Minister We thank you to all who have come to worship with us. May the Peace of God be with you as we leave this sanctuary Amen…and again we say Amen. (The Congregation shakes hands with the pastor and with each other and all leave except for Papa and Angelique,) Papa - Mu Dear – You take Reebie and go to the car, Lee and I will be there shortly, I want to talk with the Minister. Ma Zoe – O.K. Papa…….Lee, Reebie and I will be outside waiting for you. (Reebie has greeted her friends and exited the church with them. Papa Lee, I know this in not comfortable for you to talk about, but we need to share this with Pastor Bouchard. (Lee nods her head in agreement) (Papa motions for the pastor to wait before he leaves) Minister Is there something you would like to talk about? Do you want to pray? What’s on your mind? Is it Ma Zoe or Reebie?
  • 12. Angelique Pastor Bouchard, Titus and I are having problems in our marriage. (she is interrupted by Pastor Bouchard) . Minister You don’t have to say anything personal….why I…. Angelique No (Firmly) I have to say this…..I mean…I’ve gotta have my say about this. You know how you were saying that God gives us Grace to Love People who we are struggling to love…(Minister nods) Well (she looks back at Papa) I’m having a very hard time loving my future sister-in-law, Belma Wright, in fact I don’t even like her, but that is only part of the problem Papa What’s she’s trying to say is…… Angelique No…Titus…(Angelique interrupts) .Let me say this, I think I am doing my best to express myself on this matter.(she continues) I was raised to believe that a lady should behave in a certain manner at all times. You know Ma Zoe, she did a good job, I feel, of raising me, she was strict, but I appreciated her as I got older for what she stood for. I was never allowed to run loose and wild like some of the other girls in town, but my point is this. Papa Lee….go on, I said I was not going to interrupt you, but we need to go on and tell Pastor Bouchard the whole truth. (Angelique looks at Papa intently for his reassurance for her to continue. He coaxes Lee to continue) Angelique – Pastor Bouchard, Reebie is not Papa’s child.(The minister just listens…you see hesitantly)…when I first met Titus and all, and him being so much older than me, I…I….well….to make a long, ugly story short. I went to the house one day and Titus was not there. Turner was and he was getting ready to go to the club for the evening…He invited me in and we started to talk, and I never been in an atmosphere like that with anyone but Titus, so we talked and talked (she looks at Papa…. and well, he just seemed so exciting, vibrant in a world kind of way and him being closer to me in age and I got to relaxed with him and I lost my head and one thing led to another Well. Papa has always respected me and never bothered me in that way. So when Reebie was conceived, I thought of other options. But could never carry them out. I told Titus and his kind ways and understanding manner never put me down. Oh I am sure that he was hurt. But we moved up our wedding date and the rest is history, But, I think deep down inside that Belma knows and I feel like she wants to punish me in her own way. You know she made a big play for Titus down at the club last month, My mind tells me it’s all about retaliation…I can’t keep living with this Pastor, The knowledge of this eats me alive for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can’t find peace. Please pray for me (she begins crying) (Papa seats himself and puts his head in his hands)
  • 13. Minister Alright, Angelique…..Let me choose my words carefully in this matter. When sins are covered up unconfessed and unrepented for, they create turmoil within our hearts and spirit. I am reminded of the story of Joseph and Mary in whom the Bible tells us that when he found out about Mary’s Pregnancy, and he had never known her in that way, wanted to put her away privily so as to not embarrass her. In other words he wanted to divorce her quietly without making an open show of her. For in those days, once it was announced that you were engaged, the break-up of the engagement would require a divorce. So I admire, you call him Titus, I’ve know him as Papa all his life…. So I admire Papa for handling the entire situation the way he did, He was a man and did what a real man who loves a woman would do. As for you, your sin created the life of a beautiful little girl. That in itself is evidence of the Grace of God in our lives. He gives us beauty for ashes. Only God can give you the answers and the peace that you seek. Have you told Turner? Papa No, Turner automatically figured Lee and I had been together that way all along and never questioned it. Minister Does Ma Zoe know? Papa Yes…Lee told her about it. Mu Dear knew something was wrong anyway all along but she was just waiting on Lee to come to her. Minister This is what we are going to do. The three of us will go to the altar and pray. But we will pray silently. Sometimes you just don’t want everyone to hear what you are saying to God. (They all go to the altar and kneel in prayer .A single dancer come out and does a praise dance to Donnie McClurkin’s song “We Fall Down”) Lights Fade to Black End of Scene II Act II Intermission Scene III Act I This scene finds us again at Ms. Juba Lee home. Ms. Juba Lee is dressed in layers of clothing with a large shawl over her shoulders. She is in her kitchen obviously anticipating company. There are fresh cut flowers on the kitchen table and well as sliced tomatoes from Juba Lee’s garden and fresh baked bread. A platter of fried chicken and squash are placed on the table with neat clean dishtowels keeping them warm. Ms Juba Lee keeps looking at her watch and a car is heard pulling into the
  • 14. driveway. She goes to the window to look out to see who has arrived. A car door slams and footsteps are heard coming up the front steps to the door leading to the kitchen. Ms. Juba Lee Lord Have Mercy…Look who has come all way from New Orleans…(she hugs Ma Zoe and they both hug each other. Ms. Juba Lee wipes her eyes and they hug each other again.) Ma Zoe Looking at you is like soothing eye salve for these old eyes, and healing for my heart. Ms. Juba Lee My…My… Well come on in and sit my best seat. I’ve got dinner all cooked up and hot homemade yeast bread and some of my famous ice tea, I’m so glad to see you, I’m liable to flatten your tires out there and keep ya here in Shrimp Bay. (They both laugh at the thought of this) Ma Zoe Lee…the traffic wasn’t too bad driving in., 10 all the way to 98. By the way, I’ve got to call my Lee and tell her I made it. That chile was so worried about me driving here. She wanted to come with me, but I told her no. I told her this was grown- folks business, (Again, they both laugh at these words about Angelique) Ms. Juba Lee Go on and call her… Tell her you will be moving here and she needs to bring the rest of yo clothes. (More mutual laughter) (Ma Zoe dials the phone and tells Angelique that she has made it, everything is fins and that she will call her in the morning when she is ready to return to New Orleans) Ma Zoe Alright, now all of that’s taken care of, let’s bless the food and eat Lord knows that if I was to have my Last Supper Lee…that I would want it to come out of your kitchen. (They share more mutual laughter, Sit down at the table and begin to say grace over the food) Ms. Juba Lee Dear Lord, Thank you for all your many blessings and goodness to us. I’m so glad you sent my good good friend Zoe safely cross the highways straight to my doo. It a'int no secret what a determined 70 year old woman can do.. Thank you for putting all the food on the table Bless and sanctify this food and Lord we asks a special prayer of wisdom for our children and families. It says in yo word that Jobe would come to you and pray for his children just in case they had sinned against your. Jobe would stand in they stead asking for your mercy. Well Precious Holy Father, we two women, being weak and fragile in body but strong in spirit is asking the same thing of ya. Holy Father, we ain’t praying cause just in case our children have sinned. We praying for mercy cause we know they sinned. Give us answers on what to do about
  • 15. each situation and when we run out what to do, take control and go the rest of the way for us. In Jesus Name we pray. (They Both Look At each other and laugh and hearty laugh……) Ma Zoe I may be 70 Lee but I got all my wits about me…. Let me see you drive to New Orleans… Ms. Juba Lee I will if you promise to have fried chicken good as this waiting on me when I get there (They laugh again, Juba Lee and Ma Zoe begin to fix their plates and finish their meal) Ma Zoe Lee… I knew when you called me last week to come up and talk that it was the right thing to do, cause I‘ve been meaning to call you and ask you up to see me. Ms. Juba Lee (speaks in a concerned tone) I got a lot to say Zoe. Are you cold? Ma Zoe Naw, I ain’t cold, as hot as this kitchen is I can’t believe you are, you feeling ok Lee? (They are interrupted by the sound of the telephone ringing. Ms. Juba Lee answers the kitchen phone as Ma Zoe continues to eat and drink her tea.) Ms. Juba Lee Hello? Hey Baby, Is Boys and Girls Club over? Well see if Mr. Eddie will bring ya on home. You tell him that I will give him sumpin for his troubles. Junior who. You mean Pearl Smith’s boy (pause)….how long will you be over there? Ok…But don’t stay too long. Bring ya grandma a 6 pack of co-cola’s on the way home. Oh and Swift…(she stares at Ma Zoe) we got a very very special visitor here with us. (pause) You got to come home to see….now don’t stay at juniors too long ya hear? (pause) alright baby (pause) bye son. Ma Zoe Lee…If you loves anybody…you loves that grandson of yours. Ms. Juba Lee I loved his daddy the same way, (pause) Lee. Not a day goes by that I don’t see Sam’s face in Swift. Swift talks like him, made up like him and just so many memories of Sam all wrapped up in Swift. To me, Sam is still living in Swift. But Zoe… You know I must have really wanted to talk to you…to have you come way up from New Orleans. (pause) Ma Zoe…I'm feeling like I could build us a fire. Ma Zoe You need to see a doctor Lee, No sense in you being this cold. I’m burning up in this kitchen, let’s go out on the porch and sit, that supper was so good Lee, uh uh uh…I think it’ll be good for us to sit on your porch, drink our tea and talk.
  • 16. They go out to the porch arm in arm together. On the porch are three chairs and of course Ms. Juba Lee’s marble stone. There is a stark contrast as they sit out on the porch and sip tea. Ma Zoe reaches in her purse and pulls out a hand fan, while Ms. Juba Lee tightens the shawl around her is obviously uncomfortably cool even in the Indian Summer Heat…They talk…. Ma Zoe Lee, you reckon this is what they call Indian summer? Ms. Juba Lee Some say the early Native Americans would choose round October and November fo their hunting season. Now, this seems reasonable, but some folks say its cause a hard freeze usually follows these calm summer like days. Now I don’t know if the Native Americans had anything to do with it, but I know this, folks say its still summer like, but I’m already getting chills, especially at night. Ma Zoe Lee, you can’t mean that you are already getting chilly, It’s still blazing hot here in Alabama Ms. Juba Lee Well, there’s a reason fo it…which is why I want to talk you. Zoe, now you know, you are my very best friend in God’s creation. You and me, why we go a ways back. Way back to when we were young girls in school, them days it was just a one room school house in Shrimp Bay for all the colored chillun. Ma Zoe (Interrupts) and it held every grade from Kindergarten to Eighth grade. In those days, Eighth Grade was like College for us. Lee, you was the first person I met in town when momma left N’awlins for a little while to come to Shrimp Bay. Her Daddy’s Aunt Hattie being real sick and all, well momma packed us up and came here to nurse her. Daddy tied to get Aunt Hattie to move back to N’awlins where she could be closer to him and the family. Aunt Hattie would have nothing of it, she said the air wasn’t clean enough for her, said she could breathe better and live longer here in Baldwin County. Ms. Juba Lee Well that’s soon to change, when the cross-town ‘spressway gets finished, all the pollution from the cars and traffic gone change things here, it’s a good thing she ain’t alive today to see it. Ma Zoe Lee, you remember….Lemme see know, I think we was round seven, we used to pretend we was way way off in Africa and we’d go down by the creek and pick up rocks and pretend they was diamonds. Ma Zoe Lee, I still collect rocks today….and would you believe I kept the ones we collected as girls? Ms. Juba Lee You don’t say?
  • 17. Ma Zoe Yes Sir! I’m saving ‘em for Reebie…she just might find a diamond or two in the batch (They both share a laugh at this comment) Ms. Juba Lee You remember our teacher Ms. Ernestine, she was sure strict on us, yes Lord…she was real strict, I remember that long switch she kept by her desk, Lawd, it could reach from the front of the schoolhouse to the back, I know it firsthand. Ma Zoe Yep… she was hard on us, but when she died, everybody in town black and white showed out for her funeral. Ms. Juba Lee (Laughing and nodding her head) My My..we used to go out in that school yard for recess and wait for the figs to drop off the tree and have a good time eating. I remember eating so many figs I got sick and my momma had to come to school and get me. We didn’t have computers and talking this and talking that back in those days…just had our imaginations and each other. Ms. Juba Lee (starts laughing) Zoe…see if you remember this: (she starts moving her hands in the air pretending to be imitating hand claps) Two Pounds of washing powder soap… Two pounds of soap Ma Zoe (joining the imitation and laughing also) all not ready yell billy goat!!! (They laugh and laugh) Ma Zoe (taking on a more serious composure) Lee, They say laughter is good for the soul, and it is, but I know this a’int the reason you called me here all the way from N’awlins. What is really going on what’s troubling you? Mama Jube Lee I came out here to pray and talk to you and God this evening. See that marble stone over there. (she points to the stone) Ma Zoe Over there? (she points toward the stone) Ms. Juba Lee that stone has been like an altar for me for the seven years m grandson has been dead. He was working on carving Belma’s name in it as an anniversary present for her. He finished the first three letters of her name, BEL and then he has his accident. Belma didn’t want to keep it, she had sent the salvage here to throw it away. I wouldn’t let em put it in the trash. I had em bring it from the work shed and place it right there. Not one day has passed that I don’t come out here and sit on that stone and pray. Feels like to me, as long as that stone is on that porch, a little bit of Sam is here. Seems like the presence of God meets me strong while I sit there and pray.
  • 18. The lights fade to black, Ms Juba Lee bows her head and the dancers come out and dance to “Precious Lord Take My Hand” End of Act III Scene I Act III Scene II Scene opens at the home of one of Junior Smith, Swifts friend from the boys and girls club. They are in the room of Junior Smith listening to music. Bobby Brown is singing the theme to “Ghostbusters” The room is decorated with posters of Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and other late 1980’s memorabilia. Junior finish filling out your applications so we can take em back to the café. Since they need two dishwashers maybe they’ll hire us both. Swift We’ll see Junior I want to save all my money for a car. I ain’t staying here all my life in no Shrimp Bay….ain’t nothing here for me. Soon as I get my ride, I’m going to California or New York…I ain’t decided yet, but it’s between them two. Swift California or New York? Junior that’s right… See right here? (he motions to a box of cassette tapes) Guess what I have right here. Swift what is it? Junior Man this is a gold mine here, worth least a 10 million dollar contract.. I mean I am going to have Quincy Jones knocking my door in, man.. I’m gone be the next hit maker…Everybody gone be after me to produce their albums. I could see me on T.V. right now accepting my award for producer of the year. Man!…Hey Swift…where you at? I been talking and talking and you just giving me one word answers…where you at? Swift you know I don’t talk much but that don't mean I don’t dream. I listens more….you learn mo that way. Junior you know what they call you at the club don’t you? Swift I’ve heard some things…
  • 19. Junior they call you church boy….they say that’s all you and your grandma do all the time is go to church Swift I don’t cloud my mind with what people say. Makes me no difference. I believe that is why you and I are such good friends. You are you and I am me and the differences never interfered with our friendship (pause) anyway, I better go, we got somebody at the house that my grandmother wants me to see…. Junior O.K. but come by on Saturday if you can, the band will be here practicing and I want you to hear em…you so good on the guitar, maybe you can join in.. Swift I’ll see (pause) I ain't making promises Junior Wait a minute…. I just remembered, the boys and girls club is having a talent show. C’mon and rehearse with the band for the show. Swift I’ll talk to you about it later…. I’ve had a funny feeling wrong and I can’t shake been feeling it all day…. I’ll think about being in the talent show, though you know I have never been one for being out in front of folks. I like being behind the scenes. I a’int never been comfortable with folks staring at me and all.. Naw…I don’t like being in the spotlight. (In comes Pearl Smith Junior’s Mother and she greets Swift as she sees him) Pearl Why Samuel Taylor, However are you….I haven’t seen you since you were in the 5th grade, that’s the year I quit teaching at the Elementary School to care for ma dear. Swift I’m fine Ms. Smith Pearl and how is your precious grandmother and your mother doing? Swift MamaJube is doing fine and so is momma. Pearl So Samuel, where is your mother these days. Last I heard she was over in France on tour with her band. Swift Yes, Ma'am, but she is back now, she’s in New Orleans. Junior Ma, Swift got the musical blood in him, you should hear him play the guitar. Pearl Oh, Samuel, are you gonna make music your career too? Swift No, Ma’am. I want to be in masonry like my father.
  • 20. Pearl Your daddy was quite a man, quite a man. Why he laid the marble in the foyer at the nursing home where mother is, as a matter of fact, he did most of the marble work in this county. Folks were always calling on him for business. I really miss the days when he and Belma lived next door. They used to call me the middle child, Ms. Davis and her two sons Turner and Titus, I believe they call him Papa, were on my left and Belma, and your daddy lived on the right. You probably don’t remember those days…..My My MY….Oh I am so sorry, here I go, on and on and you ready to leave and just being polite. Your daddy was polite just like you. Boy…that was a man I tell you….I don’t think I will ever stop missing him. You know you are just as handsome as your daddy….Well now I know I am embarrassing you. Tell Ms. Juba Lee I said hello, and tell her anything that I can do for her all she has to do is call me now. Make sure you tell her Swift Yes Ma’am (The telephone rings and Pearl goes to answer) Junior I will see you later Swift… We will get together with the rest of the band and have rehearsal. Swift I’ll see…. Bye Junior (Pearl Smith comes hurrying back into the kitchen looking very worried and talking in an excited voice just as Swift is about to leave out the door, Junior looks at his mother with great concern Pearl Samuel, Samuel………..wait……….(pause) …it’s your grandmother….she….she…just collapsed, Ma Zoe called the ambulance, and they just rushed her to the hospital. Swift drops to the floor to his knees and assumes a prayerful position…. Ms Pearl and Junior rush to his side and put their hands on both shoulders. (The dancers come out in somber movements and sway to Wade in The water) End of Act III Scene II Act IV Scene I (Scene Opens in The Shrimp Bay Hospital Intensive Care ward where the waiting room is full of people who have come to see about Ms. Juba Lee. Everyone is trying to look
  • 21. optimistic, but most look worried, are sitting with their chins in their hands, or pacing and attempting to console each other). The hospital waiting room consists of Swift, Belma, Turner Davis, Ma Zoe, Ms Lou, Sonny, Angelique, Reebie, Pearl Smith and Junior Smith. In walks Pastor Bouchard, and goes directly to Belma. Pastor Bouchard Belma, I got here as quick as I could…how is she? Belma She is still unconscious right now, but she’s stable Pastor Bouchard How is Swift doing? Belma He’s blaming himself, says he should have been at home with her, says he shouldn’t have stayed over to Junior’s so late. Ma Zoe is blaming herself, says if she hadn’t come to town, Mama wouldn’t have worn herself thin doing so much to make ready for company. Ms. Pearl says she should have come over to see after her more. (pause) I think the person who should be the most ashamed is me… (She begins to cry) I left her here with the responsibility of raising my son while I gallivanted from town to town and country to country, not just ignoring her, but my son too. If anyone is to blame Pastor Bouchard, it’s me. I don’t even come to service when I am in New Orleans and you married me and Sam. I am so ashamed of myself. I just know God is so disappointed in me….This is too much to bear…she just has got to get better so I can tell her how much I appreciate her. (She sits down and begins to cry) Pastor Bouchard Belma, listen to me, No one is to blame for MamaJube being here in this hospital. Not you, not Swift, Pearl nor Ma Zoe. MamaJube is in God’s hands. Now whether or not he allows her to stay here with us or takes her home, it’s all in his control. But if you really want to show her how much you appreciate her whether it be in this life or the one to come, you can start to make amends with your son. Have you talked to him? Belma No, I haven’t Pastor Bouchard Well, its time… I know MamaJube loves that child, and I know she would want to know that he is ok. Belma Pastor, you are talking as if Mama is already dead. Pastor Bouchard No… but if it is the will of God to take her home, I know she would want to know that Swift will be loved and cared for. Why don’t you ask the nurse if you and
  • 22. Swift can go in and talk to her. I believe that God will make sure that she hears and understands you. (Belma goes toward Ms. Juba Lee’s room) Hold on one moment, Belma. You need to talk to Swift first. Take him outside and talk to him. If he ever needed you, it’s now. No one can change the past and all that we should have done and could have been is past. We don’t even have tomorrow. We only have the moment in which we live in to right our wrongs so talk to him Belma…..please…talk to your son.(He goes around to comfort others in the waiting room) Turner Davis Belma, I overheard Pastor Bouchard and I believe both of us should talk to Swift. I just had a talk with Ma Zoe; she told me some shocking news about Reebie. I’m too stunned to talk about it right now, especially with everything else going on, but I have to say, I believe every word Pastor Bouchard told you. Only thing is this, I don’t want you to go thru this alone. I have always loved you, but I have been afraid of you cause I never saw your emotions, I never saw you break. When I heard what you were saying to Pastor Bouchard, I was shocked to hear you talk like that. You seemed so vulnerable and I had instant compassion for you. Belma, I make a good living with the club and other investments, I could take real good care of you and Swift. Well what I am trying to say is, I want to help you raise Swift. Like, I said, I just heard some shocking news about Reebie, only this is not the time to go into it, but I will say this, I want to make a home for you and Swift. We can move MaMaJube in with us and……Oh, Hell, Belma will you marry me? Let me take care of you and Swift and MaMaJube. Let me be a father to Swift. Call him and let’s go outside and talk and then go and see MaMaJube. Sonny (speaking to all) Now, I know I am a nightclub owner and I am not sure if that matters to God or if he would even hear the prayers of a man like me, but I sure would like to have Pastor Bourchard lead us in prayer. We should all have one common intention here tonight and that is to pray for the recovery of our dear Ms. Juba Lee. Ms. Lou got the telephone call when Ma Zoe called us with the news and she prayed all cross the highway from N’awlins to Shrimp Bay. Angelique Sonny is right, lets all get in a circle and let Pastor Bouchard lead us in a pray to the Dear Lord. Pastor Bouchard Let’s wait for Turner, Belma and Swift to come back in to join us. First, I want to say something. The will of God is something of a mystery. The bible tells us the when we don’t know how to pray as we should, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groaning that cannot be uttered. We will invite the Spirit of God into our midst to intercede or to “intervene” on behalf of our precious mother. Let all pray for the will of God. (in walks Turner, Belma and Swift) Everyone bow your heads please. Heavenly Father, we are gathered here tonight from all walks of life, but with one common denominator. We are seeking your face on behalf of Ms. Juba Lee Taylor. Dear Lord, we ask for a special blessing for all these who have come. It is our special relationship with Ms. Juba Lee that has brought us all together tonight. We
  • 23. represent here, relatives, neighbors and friends. Please shine your light on Ms. Turner and be with her in a special way as only you can. We know this that all things work together for the good and even though we may not see it at this time. This is all working together for all our good. May we all know the reasons for this day and this time. Amen. Belma Pastor, the three of us are going in to see her. They said only two could go at a time, but they are making a special exception for us. (Belma, Turner and Swift walk toward the nurse, she nods and they enter the room of Ms. Juba Lee) Swift I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I would like to go in to see her first. I have something to tell her private. Belma Go on in first, son…its okay….go on…Turner and I will be in to join you whenever you signal us. (Swift walks slowly into the room of Ms Juba Lee, he sees his grandmother lying in the hospital bed attached to tubes. A nurse comes in and out checking on her vital statistics. A monitor blinks off an on in her room…in walks Swift. He lovingly strokes his grandmother’s hand and begins to talk to her) Swift MaMajube…I…I don’t understand all that’s going on. This is all so quick; I ain’t had a chance to put everything all together. All I know is I stopped by Junior’s on the way home from the recreation center and now here I am looking at you lying in a hospital bed. I just had a talk with momma and Turner and finds out they getting married and talking about taking me and you to live with them when you get out of the hospital. MaMajube, you ain’t supposed to be laying here. You should to be waiting on me to come home from Ms. Pearl’s, only now she’s out there in the waiting room along with everybody else. You know you never raised me to be a selfish person, but nobody asked me what I wanted. When you get out of this hospital, I want things just to stay way it is. I like my bedroom at our house. When I was a little boy, I used to look out the window of my room and see daddy carving his marble out there in the work shed. When I get lonely, I can still go to that window and feel like daddy is still out there. If I have to move, I won’t have those memories no more. If those memories are taken from me, it would be like taking daddy away all over again. (he begins to cry) MaMajube, you the only one who knows that I don’t eat shrimp cause it makes me think of daddy’s accident that day. Everybody says he went shrimping to make some extra money for us. I…I…I can’t even talk about it, shrimp don’t taste good no more, and I don’t even like to see em. It hurts too much to remember em. Tonight, when I was over to Junior’s, Ms. Pearl showed us in the paper where it says the folks in Shrimp Bay voted against the Cross-town Expressway. I’m sure you had something to do with that. Everybody knew how you felt about it and all. You have been the only momma I have ever known, I know love cause of you. I don’t hate Belma or nothing, but she’s a stranger to me. Turner Davis seems nice and all, but I don’t want a daddy
  • 24. who owns a nightclub. If I have to, I will…but I sure don’t want to….not at all. (he pauses) I. I’ve got a secret to tell you to MaMajube, I ain’t told nobody this. I got daddy’s skills; I mean I can do carving just like he could. No one knows I have this talent but you and me now. Junior told me everybody calls me church boy. I don’t care, ain’t nothing wrong with going to church. You and I been going since I can remember. Junior wants me to join his band to play my guitar. He’s got all these big dreams bout going to California or New York and becoming a big music producer. He talks about it all the time. Ain’t nothing wrong with having dreams, well I’ve got dreams too. I want to be in contracting like daddy. He left me, but he left his hands with me. I could have finished that sitting stone long time ago, I know how much that stone means to you, and how you sit on it and pray. When you go to bed at night, I go out to the porch and I stare at it, and in my mind I see my daddy carving momma’s name in it. Since he died, I could have finished it for him and gave it to Belma long time ago. I know I am just 15, but the way I see it, is God has a sense of humor. Why I say this is, daddy carved the first three letters of momma’s name in the stone. He carved a B and E and the L, the only letters left to be carved out are M and A…and they spell Ma….can you see the meaning behind that. It’s sort of like I couldn’t finish it and I know this might not make sense to anybody else, but you understand…I couldn’t finish the carving cause of the meaning of those last two letters. MaMajube, you are the only Ma I know. I could finish it for you, but I can’t finish it for Belma, she ain’t been a ma to me. Ms. Juba Lee (blinks her eyes and speaks in a low weak voice) Come closer to me Swift, I got something to say and I don’t know how long I’m gone have to say it. Now…The Lord is good, he let me know you were here in the room; he let me hear every word you said. Now listen to me, I promised your daddy, while I was sitting on that stone praying, that I would always see to you being raised proper. Son, you know that I love you…but momma can’t stay here forever. God’s got a better place for me and I have to go. Now this is what I want you to do. You say Belma and Turner Davis is getting married. Son, I want you to do everything you can to be a family. I want you to promise me that you will do it for me and your daddy. Your daddy didn’t want to leave us, but God knew better and I taught you all I could to help you to be a man. Now, I’ve got to go and I know that God will be with Turner and Belma to take you the rest of the way. I know it’s my time cause while I was lying here in this bed sleep, I saw myself walking down a beautiful green garden with big beautiful flowers and the bluest running water streams. It was like a big picnic is the best way to describe it. There were so many people there that I couldn’t number em. We were sitting at these marble picnic tables, and Swift, I sat right next to your daddy and you know what I remember the most, I remember that I wasn’t cold. It was just this warm glow all over me, and all the cold was gone. (speaks with assurance) Son, I love you and always will, I have to go on now, don’t worry about me. You will be just fine, everything will work out for you, you will see. God has showed me that you will be just fine, There is one thing that I want you to do for me about the sitting stone.
  • 25. Swift (voice trembling) What is it MaMaJube, anything MaMaJube….what do you want me to do? MaMaJube Swift, I want you to finish carving the marble stone, only this is what I want you to do. Finish the stone and put these letters O V E D after the ones your daddy began. G R A N D M O T H E R, and put it al the foot of my grave when it’s my time. Use the B E L that your daddy started; only you finish it the way I just told you. Belma will understand. Swift MaMajube ….I can’t do it….please don’t ask me….please MaMajube You can do it son….I know you can (Swift just hangs his head at this suggestion) MaMajube Son I love you, you better go now, MaMaJube needs some rest. I’m a little tired. Swift Do you want me to tell Belma and Turner to come in now? They out there waiting.. MaMajube Just tell them to all go home and I will see them in the daylight (Swift leaves the hospital room and MaMaJube is alone and sleep) The dancers come out and dance to Swing Low…Sweet Chariot) End of Act IV Scene I Act IV Scene II – The Finale The last scene finds us in Shrimp Bay three years later. The scene opens up in the home at the home of Pearl Smith. Pearl is scurrying about putting together the last touches of dinner. She has invited Belma and Turner Davis, Swift, PaPa, Ma Zoe, Reebie, Angelique, Junior Davis and Sarah. (Sarah is the niece of Pearl’s who is now dating Swift.) It is Thanksgiving and all the guests are about to arrive. The sound of the doorbell rings….. (Ding….Dong…..Ding…….Dong) Pearl Smith – (From the kitchen) Junior……..get the door…… (Junior opens the door…….In comes Ma Zoe, Angelique, Papa, and Reebie….) Junior – Momma…Our guest are here Pearl – Oh my my…..I thought you all would never get here….how was your trip?
  • 26. Papa – Pearl…..It sure smells good in here……Mmmmm MaZoe – Pearly Mae….You look the same as when I saw you three years ago……t’aint changed a bit….ain’t even gained no weight….. Angelique – Pearl… your home is so beautiful….just like I remembered it. Pearl – Chile….is this Reebie? Well….Well…You growing up straight like a weed… how old are you now? Reebie – Ma’am…I’ll be 12 years old Christmas eve….. Pearl – Laughs….Just like a child….waiting on the next birthday….Here I am….hoping that I make the next one. MaZoe – Pearl….You’ll be around for a long long time….. Pearl – Well I’m blessed if this is the last one (They hear the doorbell ring…Pearl goes to the door…In comes Belma, Sarah, Swift and Turner. Sounds of excitement and greetings come from them all.) Belma – MaZoe give me a big hug…..I’m not taking another step inside until I get one of your big hugs… MaZoe – Well…Well…I am so glad to see you girl……and Turner you look sharp as ever… Swift – Hello Ma Zoe, Ms Pearl, Ms. Angelique and Papa….I want to introduce you to my friend Sarah. MaZoe – Well hello Sarah……nice to meet you…..Come on in….Pearl ain’t he stretching up to heaven? Pearl – Yep, he shore is…….Reebie…..go get your grandma some tea and you can help me put up the Christmas tree after dinner. It’s always been a tradition that my tree goes up right after Thanksgiving dinner. Reebie – Yes..Ma’am Pearl – (Looks at MaZoe and winks)….and after we put up the tree, we might just find a wrapped gift for a certain young lady whose birthday is next month. Turner Davis – Ms. Pearl…We have something for you from Swift, Belma and I…… Papa – Ain’t that a coincidence….. (To Be Continued) The final act has been deliberately omitted from this copy. To discuss using this play or any of the written materials in the Drama Interventions Collection usaartistobenin@aol.com Copyright © Eddie Bear Publishing 2003-2009. All rights reserved. This play may not be reproduced or redistributed without written permission from the author. Eddie Bear Publishing © all rights reserved. usaartistobenin@aol.com