The winner of the Laurence Olivier Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Musical, “Caroline, or Change” is running at the The Weekend Theater June 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22.
The musical centers its action on the Gellman family and their African-American maid, Caroline Thibodeaux, played by University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate Satia Spencer.
It is 1963 in sleepy Lake Charles, Louisiana. Caroline is drifting through her life as a single mother of four working in a service job to a white family. A fragile, yet beautiful friendship develops between the young Gellman son, Noah (who has lost his mother), and Caroline. Noah’s stepmother Rose, unable to give Caroline a raise, tells Caroline that she may keep the money Noah leaves in his pockets. Caroline balks and refuses to take money from a child, but her own children desperately need food, clothing and shoes.
Regardless of the circumstances, whether it is the death of President Kennedy, her daughter’s growing activism and misunderstood dismissal of what she perceives to be Caroline’s choice to remain a maid, her son’s enlistment in Vietnam, a fight with a newly college-bound friend, or a spin with the dryer, Caroline remains unflappable.