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Blues for Willadean

Beth Grant stars as “Willadean Winkler” a mother of two children who is trapped in a loveless marriage with “J.D. Winkler” (David Steen), a blue collar truck driver who is lost in a drunken haze of unachieved adolescent dreams of athletic glory. He blames Willi for his lack of success, the death of their “wild” daughter and turning their banished son gay. He controls her money, her friends and her actions through the often realized threat of physical violence.

Set in Mesquite, Texas, they live in a trailer park next to Willi’s best and only friend, “LaSonia” (Octavia Spencer), a lively character filled with much needed comic relief, wisdom and hope. Willi and LaSonia spend the afternoons watching Oprah, Jerry Springer and Judge Judy. Willi takes up Dr. Phil’s philosophy that, “what you believe you can achieve,” and in defiance of J.D. gets herself a secret job as a greeter at the Super Mart to give her life a much needed purpose.

Across the way the park’s newest resident, five-times married cocktail waitress “Rayleen Hobbs” (Dale Dickey), storms into their lives in her little camper shell. The tragically funny Rayleen has gotten a job at the local watering hole where she meets J.D. drinking the evening away before he heads home to criticize Willi for anything and everything she does.

The characters are brilliantly strung together, with the help of a sultry, intuitive “Blues Singer” (Debby Holiday) who encourages Willi through music to push for something more than the life J.D. allows for her. Explosive one-sided arguments filled with pain, lost dreams and anger erupt and build over time as Shores reveals the dangerous dance between the abused and the abuser they love and hate, until one disastrous night it goes too far and the lives of those in the trailer park will never the same. [Synopsis courtesy of official Facebook]