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Grace, Excerpt from the Original Play by SMU Theatre student Crislyn Fayson

It’s March 14, 2020. Today is the day after Breonna Taylor’s death.

“There are two living, breathing, and loved black lives in the space. Take care of them.”

MS. PEACE, a black 28 year old woman, sits still in front of her computer screen. Her Zoom screen is on, her glasses are resting in her hand, and a notebook sits in front of her blank and open. She’s staring at the wall.

A moment.

GRACE, a black 19 year-old girl pops up on the screen, her head down, writing in a notebook. She looks up quickly, taking in the room, and gets to writing again. She huffs.


Where is everyone?

Ms. Peace

Oh! Good morning Grace.


Am I the only one here?

Ms. Peace

Yes. You’re the only one who decided to come today.


Ms. Peace

How are you?


I’m ready to take the test.

Excerpt from “Rent Party” by Valerie Curtis-Newton

Synopsis: The spirit of Bessie Palmer has come back from the dead to get her earthly house in order. She can’t connect with her husband Ray on the other side until her children get themselves sorted out. As her family gathers bail money to free her activist son-in-law, old patterns and grudges get in the way. Bessie meddles and pushes the entire family to come together to support the cause – uniting a house divided.

Time: Evening. August 10, 1968

Setting: A house in a mid-western city and a world of ghosts and memories.


The front porch should be pretty fully realized while the inside of the house can be represented more simply. Projections, and a few carefully curated pieces of period furniture, for example. The right chair, table, prop makes the world. The design needs to provide the flexibility to move from the "real world" into memory or ghost world and back again. The worlds can also all exist simultaneously. Characters continue actions in their rooms until it is time for them to go to another space. The whole house is active to some extent for the entire performance. Magical and unexpected things can happen any/everywhere.

“Gibberish in Retrograde” by Kara Adrienne Roseborough

Synopsis: This is a short story about a young lady living in Atlanta during the riots of 2020. She felt the strong emotions that came from anger and hopelessness and blindly joined the crowd of rioters to spread awareness. She wanted everyone to hear her voice that night. The fear and anger of 2020 had driven her into doing something she never thought she could do. She wanted to tell her story to others that are willing to listen. She also wants to ask you a question…How close are you to going mad?

The Canticle, 2016

With cryptic lines made to language, I derive meaning from words that escape captivity in a bounded throat throat bounded a in captivity escape that words from meaning derive.


Stiff European words uncoiling from this black mouth enamored with the destruction of the “once”

and irony dances on the graves of dead drums and dancing on the graves of dead drums in irony, I derive meaning from words that escape captivity in a bounded throat throat bounded a in captivity escape that words from meaning derive.


Cryptic lines, made to language, originally foreign claw up the tunnel to embrace dawn. Claw?


Climb, do these white words, and s-s-s-sing wang ta eht sdrohc fo elap srohpatem


(gnaw at the chords of pale metaphors)

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