Southern Discomfort: Twelve Short Southern Scenes

1.   Dawn's Coming
 Wayne (adult male)
 Earl, his son (teen/young adult male)
Setting: a pig farm in Georgia
Format: comedic drama
Synopsis: Wayne and Earl are in a field on their farm at dawn — they are waiting for the sheriffs to show up to foreclose on the farm. They are armed and prepared to defend their home. As they wait, Earl begins indicating that he might not be ready to die. Father and son begin discussing life, farming and women and discover that they are more alike than they had thought. Then conclusion has a nice little twist and should prepare the audience for the other scenes, most of which have an interesting twist at the end.

2.   Slow Dance with a Stranger
 Pearl (teen/young adult female)
Setting: a small town in Mississippi
Format: monologue, comedic/drama
Synopsis: Pearl relates what happened when she didn't follow her mother's advice — and found her self in a slow dance with an attractive stranger. A sweet little humorous story about one of those precious, youthful encounters with the opposite sex.

3.   Nashville
 L.G. Munroe (male, early 50's)
 Bobby Ray Burton (young adult male)
 Marie (female offstage voice)
Setting: the office of a major record company in Nashville
Format: comedic drama
Synopsis: Bobby Ray Burton is an aspiring Country Music singer who is being recruited by Munroe. Burton appears to be a talented and modest rising star. And Munroe offers him a lucrative contract… with a catch!

4.   Meeting Delilah
 Duvall (male) -- a cowboy
Setting: a country bar in Virginia
Format: comedic monologue
Synopsis: Duvall relates his chance encounter and courtship of Delilah. This humorous story is sort of a bookend to “Slow Dance with a Stranger,” from the male point of view.

5.   The Encounter
 Harlan (male, late 30's *white*)
 Tricia (19-year old *black* girl)
 Gil (offstage voice)
Setting: the office of an insurance salesman in Alabama
Format: strong drama
Synopsis: Tricia encounters the man that she has been told raped her mother (and is therefore her father). Harlan's side of the story is very different, and even more shocking. This scene is an extremely powerful piece of drama. The twist in this story is surprising, shocking and moving. This one scene, in my opinion, will be worth the price of admission.

6.  Unbuckling the Bible Belt
 Brother Malcolm (adult male, preacher)
Setting: a church in North Carolina
Format: monologue, comedic/drama
Synopsis: Brother Malcolm relates the interesting events that occur when a group of church deacons decide to preach and save the sinners on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

7.  Belinda's Marriage
 Belinda (female, late 30's)
 Charlie (male, late 30's)
Setting: Belinda's mobile home in Arkansas
Format: comedic
Synopsis: A view of Belinda and Charlie's ho-hum married life as they sit in front of he TV in their mobile home.

8.  The Affair
 Miss Amelia (adult female, 50ish)
 A Man (seen onstage, no lines)
Setting: an outdoor cafe in Charleston, SC
Format: essentially a monologue; dramatic
Synopsis: a conversation between Miss Amelia and her male companion — although we never hear the man speak; Miss Amelia responds in places as if she is responding to comments he has made, but the scene is really done as a monologue. Miss Amelia is flirtatious, and we get the feeling that there is a relationship between the two characters. At the end of the scene we discover the true nature of the relationship!

9.  Just Another News Item
 Claude Spinner (elderly *white* male)
 Mr. Pogue (*black* journalist)
 Annabelle Spinner (Claude's wife)
Setting: the living room of a small mobile home in Kentucky
Format: drama
Synopsis: Pogue is interviewing Spinner for a news item; the story is, at first, vague, but we see that Spinner reveres the Confederate battle flag. At first Pogue asks how he can respect a flag that represents slavery and racism. As the interview finally gets around to the news topic itself, we discover there is a different story involved than what we might have believed…

10. Wildcat
 Jimmy (18-year old student)
Setting: an empty gymnasium in Lexington, Kentucky
Format: monologue; drama
Synopsis: Jimmy relates the passion and desire needed to play basketball for the University of Kentucky. He has been told that he doesn't have what it takes and we see a glimpse of the character. Does he really have heart? Or is he just self-deluded?

11. Lazlo's Mine
 Webster Corrigan (a young coal miner)
 Samuel Potter (a wizened old miner)
Setting: a collapsed coal mine in West Virginia
Format: drama
Synopsis: Two miners, one young and one an older veteran, are trapped in a collapsed coal mine. When faced with their desperate situation, their initial reactions are completely different. But as the scene concludes, we see what these men share in common.

12. Wisdom
Characters: Bessie (93 year-old black woman)
Setting: the front porch of a modest house in Alabama
Format: monologue
Synopsis: a wonderful concluding scene where Bessie shares the wisdom of her 93 years. She relates what it means to be Southern — not “redneck jabber” or hot weather or new skyscrapers. No. The strength and beauty of the South is its people. This monologue caps the rainbow of Southern people presented in the 12 scenes, and gives the audience a look at an eccentric, lovable character and leaves the audience with very warm, positive feelings.

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