Artisan by Dan Joyce
Let’s Make A Lynching
New Orleans 1964 Mardi Gras
Biggie Black is trying to organize a protest against segregation in the South. He meets Virginia White, a young college student, interested in his cause. Biggie has to urinate and uses the white restroom.
Psychiatrist’s Office 2016 Sunnyville, California
Vincent Hopper is discussing going public as an artist about his depression. The doctor warns him about social stigma and negative effects that may be caused by this action. Vincent is convinced that his illness is a cause and a civil rights issue. He argues that his action will bring people out to help them and that more may seek help.
Marilyn Monger’s bedroom Sunnyville, California 1976
Billie Joe and Marilyn are doing homework in her room. Marilyn, a touch overweight, is eating donuts. Billy warns her about her diet. They begin to discuss their interests in modern music, politics and religion. Marilyn is obviously attracted to Billy, but he shies away acting as a gentlemen. Billie is very handsome and somewhat masculine. The two continue to bond and vow to always be best friends.
Bruce’s bedroom Sunnyville, California 1976
Billy is talking to his lover Bruce Bronze. He suggests that gay people need to come out of the closet and stand up for their rights, in particular, the right to legally marry. Bruce argues that the cause is trivial, because many gays don’t want people to know they are gay. To him, the right to gay marriage is less important, however, masking a greater threat, gay bashing and hate crime.
Downtown Bar 2016 Sunnyville, California.
Vincent is drinking soda in a bar. An attractive actress named Cali Crywolf approaches and sits next to him. She already appears to be on a date. He tries to ignore her. The two discuss their careers, however, in the arts and local theatre. She invites him to a play in which she has a nude scene. Vincent agrees to attend. Cali then goes and joins her friends who are discussing her interaction. They inform her that Vincent is mentally ill, lives in a home for such people and takes “happy pills.” Cali, now afraid, accuses Vincent of following her.
New Orleans 1964
Rocky Small is screaming at his lover, Virginia White, regarding her association with a black man. She defends herself, but not Biggie. She is important in local politics and must defend her name. She accuses Biggie to Rocky of trying to rape her.
Sunnyville, Ca. 1976 Marilyn Monger’s Bedroom
Marilyn and Billie are studying biology. Marilyn intentionally spills water on her blouse, takes of her shirt and attempts to seduce Billie. Billie rejects her telling her he is gay. Marilyn quotes the bible and offers to reform him. Billie leaves the room.
Sunnyville, California 2016 Local Theatre House
Cali is naked on stage making offensive remarks regarding those who seek treatment for depression and other known mental illnesses. After the play, Vincent informs her that he found the play offensive, because he and several friends have such issues. Vincent is chased off the lot by the other actors and mocked as insane.
New Orleans 1964 The Public Square
Biggie has organized a rally speaking out against segregation in the south. Virginia identifies him to Rocky and to the police. Biggie is arrested for sexual assault.
Sunnyville, California 2016 The Town Hall Meeting
Vincent is discussing with the city council why mentally ill people should be regarded as equal to other citizens and why such a cause is important to the community. After the speech Cali and local political activist Stephen Studdard discuss his odd behavior in the community. Cali accuses him of being a sexual predator.
Sunnyville, California 1976
Billie is making a speech at the local college on gay rights and causes, especially gay marriage. He is confronted by a group of Christian activists led by Marilyn’s brother Paul. There is hostility and violence breaks out. The police come to the rally and arrest Billie.
New Orleans courtroom 1964
Rocky and Virginia testify to the assault claims against Biggie. Biggie takes the stand and accuses them and the community of racism. The jury is called.
Sunnyville, California 2016 local coffeehouse
Stephen Studdard and Cali rally the townspeople in anger against Vincent. They all march the police station to file papers against him. Requesting he leave the city.
Sunnyville, California 1976 courtroom
Billie admits to the courtroom that he is gay and is convicted of sodomy and unethical sexual activity. He is charged a fine and requested to no longer partake in such practices.
Sunnyville, California 2016 courtroom
Stephen Studdard accuses Vincent of being violently insane. While Vincent testifies he has no record of violence nor threatened anyone in the case with violence, Stephen argues that the potential violence rallied against him in the community was a passive act of violence in itself. Stephen is forced to leave the community.
Sunnyville, California 1976 Public Park
Paul leads his Christian friends to assault and batter Billie. Obscene sexual references are made as Marilyn watches. The group leaves Billie beaten and unconscious as the bible is read while they walk away.
New Orleans 1964 Public Lynching
Biggie is forcefully taken out of his home and led into the main square where his is hanged.
Sunnyville, California 2016
Vincent is at the bar talking to a local stranger. He says that he still believes that his rights as well as the civil rights of all citizens are important and that wherever he goes, he will take that with him like his art and that he just may be a little before his time. Stephen is listening in the corner, silently nods and takes a drink. Vincent grabs his luggage and leaves the bar.