Julie seems to be having a breakdown. Her two teenage children can't get her to stop crying so they send for her best friend, Claire, to help. Julie has, over time, become completely disillusioned with her life as a New Jersey housewife and mother: Although she dearly loves her children, she is in a loveless marriage, with an abusive policeman husband; she's a high school dropout and feels her life is one big nothing. After Claire and her children get her through this bad period, Julie picks herself up and decides to start her life over. She kicks her husband out and for the first time, she and the kids are on their own. After a few very rocky days, Claire shows up and asks to move in with them because she, too, has left her husband. The two women begin an odyssey of odd jobs, education and self improvement. The mutual support and life-long love soon turns into an affair between the two. Julie eventually falls deeply in love with Claire, but Claire cannot readily accept the relationship. She's afraid of what people will think, including Julie's children. The road to bettering themselves splits and Julie soars. With the encouragement of a school professor, she becomes proficient with computers, eventually winning a scholarship. With Julie's rise, Claire is left behind, and as close as the women are, Claire decides she must return to her husband. Julie, on the other hand, is now what she's always wanted to be: a full woman, loving mother, and whole human being.
First produced to national acclaim at the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. "Only one new play seemed to have the ideal balance of humor, warmth and social awareness to earn a deservedly long life beyond Louisville—JULIE JOHNSON, a funny and inspiring account of a blue-collar wife's emotional and spiritual journey." —Kansas City Star. "The festival favorite…Hammond is so highly observant and possesses such a keen ear that her characters are vibrantly true to life." —Denver Post.