NAWPA: Letters Synopsis

NAWPA logo
by Denise Mosley

Tonya Blake: 14 years old in first scene, 24 thereafter. African American, Native American mixed blood.
Angel Henderson
Tomasina “Tom” Williams: Androgynous voice.
Darryl Worthington: Middle-aged. Average build. Tense.
Elizabeth Worthington: 20-something. Very fashionable, thin and beautiful. Wife to Darryl. Tense.
Lisa Worthington: 11-year-old daughter of Darryl and Elizabeth. Tense.
Cindy Blevins
Stewardesses 1 and 2
Agent: Female ticket agent for Blue Skies Airlines.
Paging Desk Agent: Intercom voice over.
Josh Jacobs
Act 1, Scene 1: It is 1973. Lights up with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” playing in the background. Records (45s) are scattered on the floor. A bed with frills is downstage. On the walls are pictures of recording stars: Marvin Gaye, The Marvelettes, The Supremes and The Temptations. There is a stereo with a the turntable playing Gaye’s song.

Act 1, Scene 2: It is 1983. The middle of a busy airport terminal. A steward stands behind a check-in counter.

Act 1, Scene 3: Aboard a plane in flight.

Act 2, Scene 1: Camp site at night. Camping gear is strewn around a makeshift fire. Logs for seats. Angel, Cindy, and Sonya wear jeans, boots and shirts. Mertyce wears fashion LL Bean gear and a matching hat. All drink beer.

Act 2, Scene 2: Airport terminal waiting area. A group of stewards (four females and one male) enter carrying an array of bags, and chatting.

Act 2, Scene 3: Interior of an elegant bedroom. A painting hangs over a fireplace in the center of the room. Two couches face one another not far from the bed. The bed is large, covered with gold beddings and ornate pillows. A nightstand sits next to the bed with an Elizabethan lamp. A full length mirror occupies a corner of the room conspicuously with a nearby vanity lined with cosmetics, brushes and combs.

Act 3, Scene 1: A busy airport terminal, ticket counter at Gate 10. People are seated, waiting to board. A sign above the counter reads “Flight #129-New York.” Behind the counter is a female ticket agent scanning the computer in front of her.

Act 3, Scene 2: A man stands behind the paging desk counter.

Act 3, Scene 3: A sign above an airport ticket counter reads “Gate #139-New York.” Angel is dressed in a business suit and is seated to the left, reading a book.

Act 3, Scene 4: Same ticket counter.

Act 3, Scene 5: Tonya sits in an empty airport gate.

Denise Mosley’s Letters is a heartwarming story reminding us of the power of wishing and the miracle of the written word. Spanning from 1973 to 1983, Mosely weaves together the lives of three young women whose letters tell the story of longing, loving and friendship. Tonya Blake’s journey begins at age 14 with a letter to her pen pal, Tom, who she grows to fall in love with, only to discover that Tom is really Tomasina, a lesbian who deceives her long distant friend in order to find unconditional love. Lisa Worthington, a smart and loveable eleven year old, uses her diary as a way to connect with God in hopes that he will answer her prayers: a loving relationship between her mother and father. And Angel Henderson, a young woman who is fed up with the miriad of men who have come and gone in her life, sends a letter down stream in a bottle, only to discover that her soulmate really does wait at the other end of the river’s edge. What ties all of these writers together is their ability, through the written word, to express their pains and sorrows, as well as their joys as women in search of the love of another.

Synopsis written by J. Barnett and S. Huston-Findley.