Whispering Pines is a small, homey assisted living facility, but for how long? On the death of the owner, the facility has passed to his daughter, who is determined to unload this “albatross.” She has lined up buyers but there’s only one problem. Or really, six problems: the current residents. And together they agree they are not going out without a fight! Knowing that the new owner must find another facility to take them in, they come up with a plan. It’s an elaborate scheme that will ensure that no one else will accept them. So “Operation: Whispering Pines” is put into action. Can the residents pull off a Christmas miracle, or will everything backfire, causing them to lose their “family of friends”?
With Playwright Karen Jones
What inspired you to write this play?
If you notice, most plays are written with the younger generations in mind, which is perfectly understandable. However, you might be overlooking the talent and experience of the elderly thespians in your group. They are usually more confident and have a “sass” about them that really translates into a fun play. At least, that’s been my experience. So I wanted to shine the spotlight of these folks and give them an opportunity to “strut their stuff.”
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
At the end of the play when they have successfully saved Whispering Pines, the statement is made that Christmas is always a time to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, but it is always better celebrated with friends and family. In this case, it was a “family of friends.”
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
Yes and no. While the characters are figments of my imagination, I must admit that people of my ‘church family’ did influence the characters personality and attitudes.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
Two things: First I wanted to spotlight the elderly and show that they still have a lot to give. Secondly, I wanted to show that family is not always defined by blood but by love.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Just to re-iterate Bernice: “Don’t mess with old people.” You might bite off more that you can chew.