In the last 13 days of our Blue Bunny campaign, I will be profiling the script’s characters–offering a brief glimpse into their backgrounds, what has formed them, what has fueled their reactions and their motivations. Each was brought to life on stage last August at the Destiny City Film Festival where the script took First Place in the festival’s screenwriting competition in 2014. The incredible and wildly talented Julianne Christie read for/embodied Irene. More than one person approached me after the reading to tell me that her performance brought them to tears. Tears. At a staged reading!

This is Irene.

Life hasn’t quite turned out the way Irene thought it would. 1982 was her day in the sun, the most popular and beautiful girl in her senior class, though she was too wild to be prom queen and had her head too high in the clouds to be valedictorian. Despite dreams of leaving Port Angeles for the more exotic destinations of her dreams, a receptionist job straight out of high school felt very grown up to Irene and within two years she had fallen in love with her supervisor. Within three more, her supervisor had become her husband.

Once Donny was born, the marriage began to crumble until it disintegrated. Soon after, Irene met Shane’s father, who was not long for Irene’s world, or the world in general, either. Shane was born two weeks after his father left. And then, the boys became her world.  That world, held tentatively together with fragile optimism and dulled artifacts from a brighter time in her life, was shaken when she became a grandmother at far too young of an age. Again, Irene’s determination that everything was going to be all right took over and she raised the little girl with Donny, the girl’s mother having disappeared. A new precarious version of normal took over and reigned for six years. Until one night, one bad choice, a road without streetlights, and a single fatal moment would collide to change everything and forever challenge Irene’s faith in whether or not life is, as she had always believed, good.

As always, thank you to Ben Slavens for the use of the beautiful photos he took at the reading.

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