Piese de Ara Watson

A Different Moon
The setting is a small town in Arkansas, the time 1951. Tyler Biars, a young soldier just out of basic training, is at home visiting his mother and sister before being shipped off to Korea. Brimming with charm and sensual magnetism, Tyler basks in the doting admiration of his family, until his idyll is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Sarah Johnson, a Georgia farm girl who is both the sister of one of Tyler's army buddies and one of his amorous conquests. Sarah, who is some years older than Tyler, is also pregnant—and while the flustered Tyler promises to set things straight what he does, instead, is to sneak away ahead of schedule, leaving his mother and sister to deal with the problem. His departure brings on the crux of the play as Sarah, awkward and unwanted, gradually wins the respect and affection of Tyler's mother and sister with her quiet fortitude and instinctive good nature. She becomes, in truth, a member of the family, and when in the end she stoically accepts the fact of her abandonment and returns to Georgia, her departure leaves the others as bereft and saddened as they were, for very different reasons, by the irresponsible exit of their now discredited son and brother.
Bite the Hand
The place is the back porch of an old house in a small town in South Dakota, the time the summer of 1947. Reba and April are two women who, forced to fend for themselves when the local mill laid them off, have turned to the "oldest profession." But now April has accepted an offer of matrimony and is packing to leave—a development which is not easily accepted by Frank, the manager of the mill and one of April's "regulars." To make matters worse, it turns out that Frank has just shot his wife and her lover, and learning that April is also defecting is almost more than the shaken Frank can bear. Furthermore, he still has the gun in his pocket—which makes April's defiance all the riskier and Reba's nervousness all the greater. But the crisis passes and Frank departs and the two ladies, collapsing in relieved laughter, decide to relax and take in a movie before April boards the bus to Sioux City and a new life with her husband-to-be (who happens to look just like Frank).
Chocolate Cake
about two secret gorgers who meet in a hotel room while attending a women's conference. One is a simple, country mouse, married to a mechanic; the other a brassy city dweller whose husband is a wealthy businessman. Inevitably their conversation gets around to their favorite topic—food—but the funnier their exchanges become the more we are made poignantly aware of the deprivation and disappointments which have led them to compensate with compulsive over-eating.
Final Placement
The scene is the Tulsa office of a child welfare caseworker. A mother guilty of child abuse is intent on regaining the custody of her son, even though he has been put up for adoption by the courts. Despite her poverty and ignorance she displays a touching eloquence—and a disquieting menace—as she attempts to stave off the inevitable.
Little Miss Fresno
The play deals hilariously with two very competitive mothers whose daughters are in the semi-finals of a local moppet beauty contest. One mother is a gossipy veteran who coolly keeps a score card along with the judges; the other, a first-timer, is anxious and ill-at-ease. When both daughters win there is a truce between them—but the finals are still to come.
Divorced, Lloyd welcomes a visit from his sister Eve, a hard-drinking, tough-talking carnival operator trying to make a living with what remains of a touring show that was broken up by her partner's sudden demise. Lloyd puts on a good face, although he is disturbed by the news that his ex-wife has remarried and by the fact that his children never call him; while Eve, ever ebullient, cannot disguise the emptiness she feels at Red's death, a sense of loss that the brassy young Don, who she has signed as helper and lover, cannot really assuage. Trying to reach out to his neighbors, Lloyd persuades Eve to set up her paraphernalia in his front yard, charging the local kids a nominal twenty-five cents; but the sheriff quickly closes them down, and they don't even take in enough to pay for the electricity. But somehow the experience becomes a watershed for both of them, as Eve decides that this will be her "farewell tour," and Lloyd accepts the fact that what he has is all he ever will have—or could really ever have hoped for.
Consists of three one-acts, which range in mood from high comedy to near tragedy. The plays are unified by a common theme; each contrasts women from different social and intellectual levels in situations where they react with attitudes characteristic of their backgrounds. The play takes us on a journey from a child beauty pageant in Fresno, then to a welfare office in Tulsa, and finally to a seedy motel in an industrial Massachusetts town. The plays, though each distinctive in their own right, combine into a funny and poignant theater experience.

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Ara Watson

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