By Max Bush
Cast: 7 to 9m., 10 to 13w. (Fifteen of these characters are between the ages of 16 and 19.) Kara in Black takes place January through March of 2003, beginning prior to the invasion of Iraq and finishing three days after the invasion. Eighteen-year-old Kara's older sister, Della, is leaving to join her Army unit and travel to Kuwait to prepare for the possible invasion of Iraq. While Della is proud to serve and proud to be a woman in the Army, is ready to prove herself, and believes in the policies of the administration, Kara, after thinking about such things for the first time in her life, begins to oppose her sister going, and the impending war itself. Their dialog begins as Della is preparing to depart to join her unit and continues by phone up to the night before the invasion. Together with Juanita and Sue Ellen, two of her friends, Kara researches the first Gulf War to try to understand what may occur in this one. As the research continues and questions multiply, a rising chorus of voices opposes Kara: Sue Ellen, other students, Della, Della's best friend Rachel, and, seemingly, the majority of the American people. To understand more about war and its effects on people, Kara talks to Stevens—Juanita's former stepfather—a decorated Vietnam vet who speaks directly from the reality of his combat experience. Kara finds her way to Women in Black, an international organization, begun in Israel, which holds nonviolent vigils protesting violence toward women and children. Motivated by Steven's revelations, her love for her sister, and her budding political sensibility, Kara (with Juanita) decides to open a local chapter of Women In Black to protest the invasion of Iraq. Throughout the play Kara struggles with her feelings of isolation, frustration, fear, ignorance and helplessness to begin to understand her own views and to find the courage—against the opposing voices—to express herself publicly on matters important to her. Unit set. Approximate Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.