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Billie: A Tribute to the Life of Billie Holiday”

Sugarek, Trisha E. (Irish-French-American playwright, director, actor, artist, 1941-____), “Billie: A Tribute to the Life of Billie Holiday,”

a 40-minute comedy-drama monolog in English in five scenes, based upon the life of African-American, jazz singer, Billie Holiday, set in Baltimore, Harlem, and on tour with the big bands, 1928-1937,


; • © 2001 by Trisha E. Sugarek; • in Trisha E. Sugarek’s Billie: A Tribute to the Life of Billie Holiday (Cibolo, Texas, U.S.A.: The Author, 2001); • script/rights available from Trisha E. Sugarek, 3812 Greenridge Drive, Cibolo, Texas 78108, U.S.A., e-mail trishsugar@aol.com, telephone (home) 210-269-6858, fax 830-627-0803. • Cited by Trisha E. Sugarek via ftp May 8, 2003, and February 8, 2004; Sugarek says,

§ Dramatis Persona Billie Holiday (f), 15 through 25, a young black jazz singer.

§ Synopsis “Billie tells her story of a young black jazz singer who in the 1930s rose above poverty, rape, bigotry, prostitution and imprisonment to become on of the most memorable and celebrated artists of the twentieth century. The story does not dwell on the sensationalism of her addictions but celebrates the total woman and her music. Billie describes her struggle to succeed in spite of the segregation of that time and the difficulties she experienced singing with the great bands, most of which were white men. Without pity for herself, she tells about the daily slings and arrows that are a part of bigotry.

§ Comment “Very simply produced. One set, five scenes. The set can be as simple or as elaborate as desired. Recent staging at a one-act festival used only a wing-backed chair, a dressing table [2nd chair] and a screen for costume changes. Ideally, [but not required] there is a small jazz band, in silhouette, to represent the great bands such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie. Costuming can be simple, and changes can be made behind the screen while singing the next song. • Billie Holiday's songs can be added if actor is a singer. Some of her most famous music and some of her more obscure songs weave through the play. Performance song rights must be obtained, and information is available through the playwright or ASCAP. This is not only Billie's story but America’s story. • The show has had staged readings and has received standing ovations at a one-act festival.” • “Trisha Sugarek, an actor for 25 years, is now a playwright and director. She has had plays showcased in Chicago and in San Antonio. Her latest work, NEXT!, will be featured in a play festival in San Antonio in February, 2004. A newcomer to San Antonio [Texas, U.S.A.], . . . Trisha's [works] in the Cellar Theater.”—San Pedro Playhouse, http://san_pedro_playhouse.tripod.com/spp/cast_bios/sugarek-trisha.html, accessed February 8, 2004.

§ Themes African-American, big band, bigotry, Billie (Billie Holiday, American jazz singer, 1915-1969), biography, black experience, black woman, fame, humor, imprisonment, music, one woman show, prostitution, racial struggle, segregation.

See also Trisha E. Sugarek’s

  • "The Big Break," a 40-minute comedy-drama in English in four scenes, set in Hollywood, 1990, 2m2f
  • "The Guyer Girls," a 40-minute comedy-drama in English in five scenes, set in Mama's kitchen, Tumwater, Washington, 7:30 a.m., spring, 1923, 4f

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