Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
by Ed Graczyk
October 7-22, 1988
Directed by Rhonda Clark
a rundown Woolworth's department store in McCarthy, Texas, a reunion is planned
for the members of a local 1950s James Dean Fan Club.
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.
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.
the end of the stormy evening, Joanne has exposed the secrets and
self-deceptions with which her friends have been living.
Ed Graczyk has said of the play...
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.
inspiration 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."