In our very first Sneak Peek Sunday, we are going WAY back. A selection from Act I, Scene 1 from the very first public reading of Byhalia, Mississippi held in the Memphian Room at Circuit Playhouse in Memphis, TN on September 7th, 2014.
Celeste: Cecelia Wingate
Cecelia will also play this role in The New Colony and Definition Theatre’s Chicago production.
Laurel: Courtney Oliver
Courtney is a resident company member at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN.
Byhalia, Mississippi by Evan Linder
Laurel’s mother Celeste is livid after being told to drive back home to Jackson, which will lead her to miss the birth of her grandchild. Old wounds begin to resurface. And Oprah Winfrey is a boobnut.
From Act I Scene 1
LAUREL: I’m pregnant and I’m upset and you were really helpful when you got here and now you just aren’t anymore.
CELESTE: You don’t have to be in the right mindset to have a baby. Oprah, that damn billionaire boobnut. “Live your purpose, find your bliss.” That woman messed everybody up something good, I’m tellin’ you. Find your damn bliss- life isn’t blissful! Havin’ a baby certainly isn’t! Why you think your daddy and I stopped after you? Cause I put my foot down. I’da rather they gone in and ripped out my uterus again than have another baby.
You were the worst pain I ever felt. Didn’t matter what mindset I was in when I was feeling you come out.
LAUREL: Mom, I love you.
CELESTE: I know you can take care of yourself. All I care about is that baby.
LAUREL: I know.
CELESTE: I couldn’t keep you from marrying Jim, I couldn’t keep you from moving to Byhalia. And I mean it, Laurel. Byhalia. It’s embarrassing. My bridge club. It’s embarrassing. But that/ baby’s gonna know that he’s loved.
LAUREL: See this is not helpful, Momma. It’s not you, it’s us- you and me. We just- we were never meant to be roommates. Okay? And that’s not the worst thing in the world. It just is what it is. I love you.
CELESTE: It’s my first grandbaby being born. Only happens once, Laurel.
LAUREL: I know, momma. But I think-
CELESTE: You are self-ish. Selfish, selfish little girl. You know if you’d believed me growing up when I told you how special you were. If you’d had a little more confidence. If you hadn’t felt the need to dress like you did, to run around like you did-
LAUREL: High school, mom./ High school!
CELESTE: -to whore yourself around like you did. If you’d just had a little more self-respect.
LAUREL: You done?
CELESTE: Then maybe you would’ve dreamed a little bigger for yourself than this. Than Jim.
LAUREL: Do you need help packing?
CELESTE: This poor baby.
LAUREL: You’re right, my poor baby, how can I help you pack?
CELESTE: Well, his mother already had the worst momma in the world. Guess there’s nowhere to go but up.
LAUREL: Let’s hope so. Let me know if you need help.
CELESTE goes to the nursery to pack, shuts the door.
Share this Post