Home On The Bayou

$35.00

Description:

Several years after Hurricane LuLu devastates much of Southern Louisiana, St. Genevieve Church of Slidell is still trying to rebuild. Our story begins when Max, a college student from Chicago, arrives to help out as part of a summer missions program. For Max, being in the south is a culture shock in many ways. The biggest surprise to him is probably the fact that he doesn’t expect to fall in love with these special characters that he meets on the bayou.

Description

Although the play is written as a Baptist man working to help rebuild a Catholic Church, the denominations can be easily changed to fit your preference to how the story plays out. In this play, Max falls in love with a local girl and by the end of the play, they are getting ready to be married and he has decided to stay in the south and is thinking about converting to Catholicism. Other scenes concerning the church committees and the things going on around the church could easily be changed to any other church. Being that this play was written for an actual Catholic church in Slidell, you can see the bend toward that church. But even if you change the church, you probably don’t want to change the locale. The bayou is definitely a strong character in this play and helps to define the characters you meet. LuLu is a fictitious hurricane, but some of the other things in the story were actually real. (all the characters were fictional) You will want to show the New Orleans flavor in the characters in this play. This was written in collaboration with Tina Schultz, who is actually from Slidell and a member of St. Genevieve Church.

13 actors (5 males, 8 females) plus extras. About an hour and 15 mins.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
MAX: Speaks 1766 words. A Baptist college student who has volunteered to help rebuild a Catholic church destroyed by a hurricane in Southern Louisiana.
BERDIE: Speaks 1626 words. One of the many characters who Max meets in Slidell. Always quick with a funny or offbeat remark, especially to her husband and kids.
VIVIAN: 1324 words. Very active at the church and always there volunteering.
CHARLIE: 1214 words. A hard worker, also involved in the rebuild project, and always ready with a joke. Berdie’s husband, and later a nervous father of the bride.
AMANDA: 1065 words. Charlie and Berdie’s daughter, who falls in love with Max.
OUISIE: 930 words. Outspoken and a bit cantankerous. Clashes with Vivian & others.
LULU: 586 words. More Cajun than the others in her speech and loves to joke about having the hurricane named after her.
FATHER MIKE: 436 words. A fun-loving priest, also a huge Saints’ fan.
HANK: 268 words. A friend of Charlie and also active in the church.
LILLY: 153 words. Amanda’s friend.
DIANE: 151 words. Max’s mom, who is not used to southern ways.
CHARLOTTE: 31 words. Amanda’s somewhat bratty, younger sister.
JACK: 16 words. Max’s dad.
The setting for the play is the parish hall of the catholic church where they are meeting temporarily for mass till the new church is built. Various props and set pieces can be added to give the look of the hall. The church was destroyed in Hurricane LuLu and recently some flooding from Tropical Storm Fred messed up the parish hall a bit. The second half of the play will take place in the living room of Charlie and Berdie Aldrich.

Excerpt:

OUISIE
(Getting back on track)
Now… I know that FEMA is helping us a lot with the rebuild… but we still have to come up with… what is it?
HANK
It’s boo coo bucks!
OUISIE
It’s $150,000! And we got an elevator to install!
VIVIAN
We all know that, Ouisie.
BERDIE
Now… why are we putting in an elevator, again? It’s not a two story building, is it?
CHARLIE
How many times do I have to explain this to you, Berdie? The new church is going to be raised.
BERDIE
I know you raise it. You have to raise all new buildings..
CHARLIE
NO! RAISED! UP OFF THE GROUND! IN CASE OF FLOODING!
VIVIAN
(Changing the subject)
Now, how about a bake sale?
HANK
How about ten bake sales?? We need a lot of money, Viv! Not just a few dollars.
VIVIAN
Okay… how do we raise a lot of money? Have Charlie tell jokes?
CHARLIE
What’s that supposed to mean?
BERDIE
It means you should button it unless you have something important to say.
VIVIAN
No… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have …
HANK
What about a football lottery?
CHARLIE
(Starts loud but quickly catches himself and pulls back abruptly)
H e l . . .
(Mumbes)
Yeah.
Even though he didn’t get it out fully, you can tell what he was going to say.
OUISIE
What is that, exactly?
HANK
We’re in the season now, and we can get folks to put money in a pool and you have to say who’s going to win and by how much… and you can make it complicated and folks can win money… you’d be surprised how popular it could be.
BERDIE
But how does the church get any money if you keep giving it to the winners? I mean, isn’t that the idea? Winner takes all?
HANK
They only get a little… most of it we keep. People will do it because it is for a good cause and they might win a little bit.
CHARLIE
Yes!
OUISIE
It sounds like gambling to me.
BERDIE
That’s cuz it is, Ouisie.
OUISIE
We can’t do that!! I won’t hear of it! What are you thinkin’ Hank? Gamblin’ in the church??
HANK
Not much different than playin’ bingo.
LULU
I like bingo.
OUISIE
Oh… that ain’t the same thing at all! Bingo has always been an acceptable form of entertainment in the Catholic church. But what you are suggesting, well it just sounds like bettin’ on horses.
HANK
We gotta think of somethin’.
OUISIE
I’m just worried that we ain’t gonna agree on anything. You remember what happened back in 92 when we had that big row…
BERDIE
Oh, now… don’t be bringin’ up all that ‘who shot John’ mess!
OUISIE
Nuthin’ wrong with keeping our eyes open, Berdie.
LULU
I agree with that.
BERDIE
What about this…. we just go the practical route. We send out a letter to every member and we ask them to consider making a faith pledge…. Now I know that faith pledges are not actual money…. People pledge all sorts and then we never see them follow through… so we can’t actually call it that… because I think they know that it ain’t real, so they don’t take it seriously, but we need something that folks are gonna take seriously, that’s why when we write the letter, we need to call it something else… you know, maybe not mention the words faith or pledge… because we don’t want them to pledge, we want them to actually give… so what we could say could be… (Pause) I forgot where I was going with this.
OUISIE
(Sighs)
We could do a penny run.
CHARLIE
What’s that?
VIVIAN
You go door to door and ask people to give us their pennies… and supposedly, because everyone is willing to get rid of pennies… you actually end up with a lot of money.
HANK
Seriously?
VIVIAN
Yeah… I don’t think it really works. Maybe fifty years ago, when a penny was worth something.
OUISIE
I don’t know about that. You people need to give something I say a chance.
HANK
Fine, Ouisie… come up with something good! I did.
OUISIE
What? Gambling?
HANK
It’s not gambling!
CHARLIE
Actually… gambling would probably raise a lot of money! People love to gamble and if we could put like a boat on the river and have tables and slots…
OUISIE
Now I’ve heard everything! If that don’t beat all!
BERDIE
The point of this committee is for us to agree on something and so we need to come up with something that we will all agree on!
CHARLIE
It’s a great idea… we all just need to agree!
BERDIE
I think we need to agree to move on from that idea.
VIVIAN
I agree.
LULU
I’ll agree to that.
HANK
Youth car washes?
VIVIAN
We’ve tried that a few times… but it always rains on the day we schedule it. No one gets their car washed in the rain.
CHARLIE
You know who makes a lot of money? Those rag pickers on the street who hold up signs and beg. If we all dressed up like homeless people and made signs that said we need money… I bet we could raise a bunch in just a week’s time! Folks feel sorry for you and they toss money in your can.
HANK
Only a dollar or two…
CHARLIE
But it adds up. Spend a day, spread it out among a lot of folks all over the city… and see how much we get.
BERDIE
I can’t believe you’re even suggesting such a thing! You spend way too much time out in the sun fishing and I think you’ve cooked all the smarts out of your brain!
OUISIE
For once, I agree with Berdie. How about yard sales? That has worked in the past.
VIVIAN
No… yard sales have not worked… that’s why we quit having them. It is a lot of work and everyone ends up taking all their junk back home with them at the end of the day. The last time I did one at my place… I barely made enough to cover the cost of the permit and the ad in the paper.
BERDIE
You need a permit to have a yard sale? Do they have yard sale inspectors who come around and ask to see your permit?
VIVIAN
I don’t know.
CHARLIE
We could have a labor auction.
OUISIE
What on earth??
CHARLIE
Hear me out. We have the youth and all able bodied types to offer their services to people. Mow lawns, clean houses, do needed repairs, paint, walk the dog… whatever! People hire the workers to come and spend the day working for them… and all the money goes toward the new church.
HANK
I know how to do a lot of things.
VIVIAN
But can people afford to hire the work done?
CHARLIE
Those who can will. People with money will pay a lot to get that kind of stuff done.
BERDIE
Or we can just ask people with money to dig deeper and give toward the capital campaign.
LULU
There’s that word again.
OUISIE
They can already do that, Berdie. This committee was put together to come up with fund raising ideas. So we need to stick to that. We need ideas to raise the money!
BERDIE
However we get the money… it’s being raised. Nothing wrong with asking… you just have to figure out the right way to ask.
OUISIE
Just don’t take us down that rabbit trail again.
BERDIE
Well, I can clearly see that we are getting nowhere. Vivian, you should just tell Father Mike that the committee was a bad idea.
VIVIAN
Why should I do that?
OUISIE
We can accomplish something if we just got serious and came up with some good ideas.
BERDIE
I don’t think there are any good ideas and there certainly aren’t any ideas that all of us in this room are goin’ to agree on.
OUISIE
So, you’re just going to give up?
BERDIE
Well, I’m givin’ up for tonight. I have a guest in my house and I need to get back home.
OUISIE
Why do you have a guest on a night when you have a meeting that you both have to attend?
CHARLIE
It’s just Max.
BERDIE
Yes… and I left him alone with our daughter!
VIVIAN
I don’t think you have to worry about that, Berdie. Max is about the nicest young man I have ever met.
LULU
He sure is!
OUISIE
I’ve seen the way you push that man on your daughter… it’s so obvious!
BERDIE
What??
OUISIE
He’s not catholic, you know.
BERDIE
Maybe he’ll convert.
VIVIAN
Not if he ever sat in on one of these meetings. So, are we done, then? I’ve got stuff I could be doin’.
They all get up to leave.
OUISIE
But we don’t even have a proposal to give to Father Mike or the other committees!
HANK
Better luck next time, Ouisie.
CHARLIE
Hey Hank, you wanna go fishin’ in the mornin’?
HANK
I might be able to swing that.
They start exiting
OUISIE
This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen!
VIVIAN
You’re right, Ouisie, it ain’t. I think this committee was a bad idea. You need to get over it.
BERDIE
It ain’t the end of the world, Ouisie.
CHARLIE
Berdie! You comin’ or what?
All but Ouisie exit. She tries to gather her books and papers. Lulu is still there as Ouisie drops something on the floor, fumbles and everything else goes.
OUISIE
Well! If that don’t beat all! I’m so mad I could spit! Oohh I’m about to cuss!
LULU
Ouisie! God don’t like ugly!
OUISIE
Well, he got a huge dose of it, tonight! Hail Mary, full of grapes!

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