by Ellen Byron
Leduc Drama Society – Leduc, AB
Cast Size: 2 (2F)
This show will always hold a special place in my heart. I was all of 22 years old, and after watching and learning from others, I decided to take the plunge. Thankfully, as a one-act two-hander, my life was made quite easy.
Graceland is about two women camping out outside the gates of Graceland before its opening in 1982. Working with two actors made for a very intimate directing experience, and it taught me how to work with them, and how to guide them into transitions from funny to poignant and back again. This show also ran at the Edmonton Fringe Festival, marking my directing debut at that world-renowned event.
The place is the front entrance of Graceland, the late Elvis Presley’s Memphis mansion, the time, five o’clock in the morning, three days before the estate is to be opened to the public. Two ardent Presley fans, Bev and Rootie, are camped out before the gates, each determined to be the first to enter the sacred precincts. Bev is a bewigged, middle-aged lady with too much make-up and a brassy down-home style; Rootie is young and shy and somewhat intimidated by the raucous Bev. Wary at first, the two soon progress from dispute to shared confidences and a growing compassion that, in the end, moves the essentially warm-hearted Bev to defer the place of honor to her waif-like and touchingly sincere rival.
Scripts: Dramatists Play Service