What’s the play about?
Two families – one white and one black – cope with change in Selma in 1965. Night Blooms is set on the first day of the historic march on Montgomery, when an unexpected freedom fighter shows up on the Stafford doorstep. The play deals with the generational conflicts that occur in any family, amplified by the fact that they are living in a place and time where the whole world is focusing on the American Civil Rights struggle. It’s not a play about politics. It’s a play about a families dealing with things that families deal with. The politics merely force those issues to the surface.
Why did you write it?
My mother is from Selma. All the stories I heard spending summers and holidays there were what made me want to become a writer. It wasn’t until much later in life that I began to comprehend Selma’s significant (and somewhat infamous) place in American history. I’ve always wanted to write about Selma; it just took me a few decades to feel I was ready to take it on.
Has it been produced anywhere else?
The play’s world premiere is scheduled for September 2010 at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta, directed by Karen Robinson. Over the past few years, Night Blooms has had numerous developmental readings at Horizon’s New South Festival. Other workshops and readings have included the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta, and the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University.
What do you hope to get out of its inclusion in PlayFest?
Thus far the play has benefited from development with a core group of actors, director, and dramaturg, who have been with the play since its beginning. They’ve all brought significant personal experience to the play’s development, which has been invaluable. But it will be great to see a how a new artistic team interprets the play, and how a new audience receives it.