The Grass is Greener

Institute History


Once upon a time, in the non-so-distant past, there was a B-movie actress who was on the brink of fame. trapped in the black and white world of late fifties sci-fi flicks, she finally landed a delicious cross-over role that would guarantee her stardom. Talented, beautiful and rather haughty, Victoria Lorimar, an ambitious Hollywood starlet, was certainly ready for her close-up. However, as the camera crew drew to a close, one little secret popped out that would confound her dreams and alter the face of her career. She could not escape the one issue that she kept under wraps, the thing that stood between her and fame: her color. Spurned by prejudice, banished from the kingdom of Hollywood, and driven to the point of breakdown, Victoria vows to protect her offspring from ever experiencing the same fate!

Decades later, the story picks up in present-day Manhattan, where Victoria's three daughters live with their nutty, reclusive mother in a decaying mansion on the edge of a desolate Harlem neighborhood. Bound to live in the house by a spell cast by their mother, Constance, Delilah, and Rebecca must abide by the rules set forth, or they risk inducing a horrible fate. By day, in the outside world, the sisters live as white women, but by night, when they return to the mansion, they live as black women. They have an unbreakable curfew: they must return to the mansion before midnight, when their transformation to blackness occurs. The sisters struggle to maintain the rules surrounding their complicated existence. Their fate having been pre-determined for them by Victoria, they coast through life, carrying on a love-hate relationship with their flip-flopping identities.

The career-driven Constance, the eldest daughter, is an editor at the small but credible Manhattan magazine. Deep down inside she knows that her success at work would be a bit more difficult had she been an Afro, but she is content with reaping the benefits of whiteness. Delilah, on the other hand, is the only white African American Studies grad student in her class. She constantly struggles with her appearance and identity and wished to be black both indoors and out. Then there's the hyper-talented Becky, the youngest daughter. An aspiring singer, Becky has fallen hard for her music producer, Freddy Mac Daddy. Freddy may want no part of dating a white girl, yet he realizes the financial potential of adding an unusually soulful blonde singer to his label. Hoping she'll get a chance at love with Freddy, Becky desires to be black outdoors. Yet to sign her recording contract with his label, she needs to stay white. She can't decide which race she'd rather be . . .

Finally, the inevitable happens: one of the daughters doesn't make it home by midnight. As a result, Victoria's spell is broken, and consequently, the three sisters have one day to come to a unanimous decision as they flicker back and forth between races. Which color will they be for the rest of their lives? With their separate agendas, Constance, Delilah, and Becky fight it out, break relationships and for new bonds as they negotiate which side of the fence is the best place to stand.


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