The first staged reading of "Lois's Wedding" a play about greed, need and fracking was held at ArtsQuest on March 21. Great cast, unbelieveable director and great audience. What else could I ask for?
Lois’s Wedding takes place in Morgan, PA, a small town (population 10,000) that has a lot natural gas underneath it. Those who can have sold their mineral rights and are now moving away, causing a rift between those who can afford to leave and those who are forced to stay in a town that doesn’t feel like home anymore. Another sub-set of townies are those who are profiting from the change: the mayor and the lawyer who is brokering the deals between townies and Vulcan Oil. The town is mostly descended from Eastern European immigrants who have lost any connection to their Slavic roots. This upheaval will destroy the little that’s left of their sense of place.
Cast of Characters
Early 60s. Mother of Morgan’s sole attorney Mark Lerner, the richest man in Morgan who is marrying the town’s most beautiful woman Lois Wozniak. Ma’s had a life of disappointments yet still believes if she does the right—righteous!—thing that she will be rewarded. Naturally, she is bitter because that isn’t how life works. She dotes on Mark as the child who will take care of her in her old age and in whose glory she can bathe. She will be staying in Morgan but in the privileged position as the mother of Morgan’s wealthiest man.
Late 30s. Morgan, PA’s lawyer who is brokering all the deals for underground mineral rights between the residents and Vulcan Oil. Like every other man in Morgan, he is in love with Lois Wozniak who has agreed to marry him because she needs money. He considers her part of the spoils of his power and insists she signs a pre-nup to show who is in charge. He’s a preening popinjay.
Late 20s. The legendary looker of Morgan. She was in love with a musician, Jonah, who wanted her to run away with him, but she wouldn’t leave her father Bruno who is wheelchair bound. Her attitudes are shaped by the fact that her mother deserted the family and sold the mineral rights underneath them to pay for her escape years before the mineral rights were valuable. Vulcan is taking over the Wozniak property for its main office and Lois has agreed to marry Mark Lerner to provide for her crippled father and hapless brother Georgey. She feels she has to make up for her mother’s desertion.
Lois’s brother, late 20s, a two-bit criminal who robs 7-11s and pizza deliveries. Deals a little dope. All the big jobs of his father’s generation have gone overseas. He’s on the do-not-hire treadmill because he has a criminal record so always has to resort to off-the-books jobs. He is at loggerheads with his father Bruno whom he can’t please. In another time, like when the mines were functioning, Georgey would have been an upright man. But without those kinds of opportunities a man as average as Georgey doesn’t have a chance.
Lois and Georgey’s father. He was injured in a mining accident in his prime and is in a wheelchair. When his wife left him, he became despondent and resigned to his fate to live alone. He pretends he doesn’t need anybody, but it’s only because he doesn’t really like anybody including his two children, one of whom he considers a loser and the other who is just lost—like her mother. He vows to never leave his home in Morgan, but it’s too late: his home has been seized by eminent domain. His idea of himself as a man—a provider—has been murdered by his bad luck.
Forties. He’s thriving as Mark Lerner’s right hand man, providing the political dressing for the rape of the land under Morgan. He’s a close friend to anyway who slips him a check. He relishes the transition of Morgan into a boom town because a politician can’t make money in a poor town.
Late 20’s. Jonah is the kind of boy who is everyone’s first love: artistic, carefree, charming his friends into delaying adulthood as long as possible. He was Lois’s first love and came to her wedding thinking that he could steal the bride.
The four wedding guests and Lois’s suitors (her posse) can be the same actors—they are like a Greek chorus.
Always played by the rules so naturally thinks it’s fitting that his/her family got a big payout. Kisses up to authority
Maddy (if played by a woman) Clark (if played by a man)
A gadfly, criticizing everyone.
Snively. Now that he/she won this windfall, wants to see how much he can game the system, always pushes for a little more.
A little younger than the others. Trying to fit in.Lois’s Posse: People who have dated Lois or her friends. Same as above. your paragraph here.