Blessed Assurance by Laddy Sartin - It is the turbulent Freedom Summer of 1964. Olivia, the cook for the Whitehouse Café, has shocked her small southern town by marching up the courthouse steps demanding to register to vote. Because of this, she is attacked from all sides, even by those closest to her heart. Harlan, the owner of the café, who is like a son to Olivia, accuses her of listening to outside agitators and following along "like cows being led to slaughter." This damnation incites Olivia to challenge Harlan's personal beliefs, and his allegiance to her, by sitting at the counter of the café where she has worked most of her life and requesting to be served. When Harlan asks her what she thinks she's doing, she says "I think they call it a sit-in!" BLESSED ASSURANCE shows Olivia, and the people close to her, how her choice to stand up for her rights forces them all to confront the hatred, ignorance, and injustice of the town. We see the quiet heroes of this troubled time trying their best to cope with a world which is forcing them into painful decisions. This play, set entirely in the café, offers a racially mixed cast and presents the universal message of healing through laughter, tears, and brotherly love as the characters struggle to resolve their differences. It is a story about values, the politics of the old south, friendship, and ultimately about faith and "Blessed Assurance."
1 African American female 40-60
1 African American male 40-60
1 Caucasian male 40-50
1 Caucasian male 20
1 Caucasian female teenager
*Olivia (African American female, 40-60 years): A religious leader in her community, cook, and waitress, with a strong sense of being and presence.
*Lewis (African American male, 40-70 years): A gentle soul with many years of wisdom, but resistant to the turmoil change can bring. In love with Olivia.
*Harlan (Caucasian male, 40-50 years): Restaurant owner, raised with or by Olivia. Resistant to change. Physical role at times.
*Slick (Caucasian male, 20's): An angry man, beaten down by his peers. Has poetical qualities that are overrun by his hatred of himself and others. Physical role.
*Sally (Caucasian female, teenager): Harlan's daughter, a teenager learning to stand for what she believes is right. Trying to find her own voice.