Come Back to
the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
by Ed Graczyk
September 5-27, 2008
Directed by Rhonda Clark
Inside a rundown Woolworth's
department store in McCarthy, Texas, a reunion is planned for the members of a
local 1950s James Dean Fan Club.
Mona is a
high-strung asthmatic who has spent the past twenty years clerking in the dime
store. Former president of The Disciples Of James Dean, she still carries an
obsessive torch for her idol. Sissy, the wise-cracking waitress at the local
truck stop, loves to boast about her large bosoms as well as her sexual
escapades. Only three other Disciples appear for the reunion, including a
mystery guest named Joanne, an old acquaintance who has returned to settle
several old scores.
The play shifts
between 1975 and 1955, flashbacks show the Disciples frenzied over Dean's
arrival in a nearby town to shoot the film GIANT. It is revealed that Mona got a
job as an extra on the GIANT shoot and nine months later gave birth to a son,
who she claims is James Dean's child.
By the end of
the stormy evening, Joanne has exposed the secrets and self-deceptions with
which her friends have been living.
Graczyk has said of the play...
"...JIMMY DEAN can only be described as the result of my own observations and
frustrations with progress that ignores a past; the lack of personalization and
pride and the recurring need of people to build facades to conceal the truths of
their lives. It is the facade that makes abnormal people seem normal and the sad
people seem happy. A personal observation which I feel makes the people I write
about, colorful, theatrical, but most of all, honest.
for COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN came many years ago
during my five year association with the Midland Community Theatre in west
Texas. While I was there I had the opportunity to visit Marfa, the site used by
Warner Bros. in filming GIANT. The only remaining evidence of the film was the
facade of the mansion Reata used to film the on-location scenes, now crumbling
and supported by six telephone poles. It was the memory of that site, the pace
of the people and the vivid recollection of the '50's idol James Dean on the
youth of the period that resulted in the writing of this play."