Young Geoffrey, engaged to September, has just arrived at her family's home a day early, but is made to feel more than welcome when asked to join in one of their special meetings. Entitled A.L.I.C.E. for Acceptance and Love Increases Through Confessional Expression, each family member takes a turn confessing their latest error or lie. They are each armed with a small bell, which they can ring when they suspect another's confession is incomplete in any way. First Mom admits helping herself to PTO funds; September reveals she dyes her hair; then Aunt Edna exposes her fling; and finally younger sis Sparkle explains her tattoo. Geoffrey, feeling confident, then confesses his cheating on September. Like the earlier revelations, the family takes the news graciously but decides some "special" dessert is in order to end the meeting. Some mature language. Ideal for community theatres. This play won the 2005 Drury University National Playwriting Contest and was performed there the following spring.
Playwright Jim Bain
Talks About "A.L.I.C.E."
Q.: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A.: A dream. I awoke one morning thinking about a dysfunctional family that wasn't really dysfunctional at all.
Q.: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE LINE? WHY?
A.: It's Aunt Edna's line when she's struggling to come up with something really earthshaking: "Well... well... well... I slept with Superman." This line is typical of Aunt Edna and the other Flam family members too - silly, absurd, attempting to achieve shock value. This line always gets a big laugh.
Q.: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM?
A.: No one that I know personally. Aunt Edna is a "Minnie Pearl" type character. The rest of the family is just a stereotypical family.
Q.: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A.: My goal was to develop likable characters who begin revealing questionable underbellies. I wanted to draw in the audience at the same time that the audience was witnessing Jeffrey being drawn into the circumstances. Then, I wanted to shock the audience at the same moment Jeffery was shocked into the reality of the situation. I wanted the audience to feel that, in the end, the Flams were really a pretty decent family.