From Staff Reports
Teens and adults attended Wylie’s Smith Library “From Script to Stage: ‘A Southern Exposure,’” June 23. The presentation was part of the Smith Library Adult Summer Reading Club.
Playwright Kelley Kingston-Strayer and actress Robin Clayton explained the writing process that took the play to stages across the country, including its 2013 Texas premier at First Baptist Church Wylie.
Kingston-Strayer is a fifth-generation Texan, and her family inspired the characters depicted in the play.
“It is the story of my aunt, Ida, who as a young woman buried a son and carried his memory like broken glass,” she said. “She was a woman who raised coupon clipping to an art form, believed not sharpening the blades of your lawn mower after every use was a sin and theorized that the Elizabeth Taylor/Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds love triangle played a hand in the breakdown of the American family.”
“A Southern Exposure” was developed and produced by the Tony Award-winning Barter Theatre in Virginia for its 2011-’12 season, and went on to be produced across the country, including Los Angeles, Calif., and Louisville, Ken.
The play won awards at the Dallas County Writers Initiative in 2002; the State of Kentucky Women Who Write in 2005; Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative in 2007; and the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights in 2009.
Clayton was a member of the cast that performed at Plano’s Family Arts in 2014.