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The Trials And Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

The Trials And Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife

Del Shores, Joe Patrick Ward

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

1m, 4f

ISBN: 9780573663727

Del Shores
Music by Joe Patrick Ward
Lyrics by Sharyn Lane, Del Shores & Joe Patrick Ward
"CRITIC'S CHOICE! A feat of breathtaking audacity." - Los Angeles Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author(s) | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - New Millennium/21st Century

Settings Of Play - A small trailer house; a bar called The Spotlight; the entrance to a Super Wal-Mart (accomplished through lighting).


Unit Set/Multiple Settings


Gun Shots, Intense Adult Themes




College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


The Ted Schmitt Award

WINNER! 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Ted Schmitt Award
WINNER! More than 14 Los Angeles Theatre Awards including the Ovation Awards for Best Production and Best Playwright
Willi is the trailer trash housewife of the title, not necessarily of her own volition. Her abusive husband won’t let her get a job, one of her children is dead, and the other is verboten by her husband because he’s gay. Her best and only friend, a large black woman who lives next door, worries about her constantly, always concerned that Willi’s husband will end up killing her. A new woman comes to live in the trailer park and ends up having an affair with Willi’s husband. When she finds out, Willi decides to get a job at the local Wal-Mart (a first step on the way to liberating herself from him). Her husband will have none of it, and quoting the bible about how a wife is supposed to obey her husband, threatens all three women with a gun, and then beats Willi to within an inch of her life. She recovers enough to finally shoot him, releasing her from the torment that she’d been living in for years. A blues singer weaves songs into the action, commenting upon Willi’s predicament and urging her toward decisive action.


"CRITIC'S CHOICE! A feat of breathtaking audacity." - Los Angeles Times, Read More

"Shores manages to fully explore Willadean's horrific plight while infusing the work with such hilarity the audience is often reduced to tears and laughter within the same breath." - Variety, Read More 

The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife was originally produced by Sharyn Lane for The Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood, California, March 8, 2003.



1m, 4f


Role(s) for Black Actor(s)

BLUES SINGER – 30s, African-American. Sexy and beautiful with a powerful voice. 
J.D. WINKLER – around 50. Once the handsome quarterback, now the failed, angry, abusive, adulterous, alcoholic husband. 
WILLADEAN WINKLER – mid- to late 40s. The trapped, weathered and abused housewife who has a beautiful heart and soul. 
RAYLEEN HOBBS – late 30s. The much-married waitress with the great body, the hard, lived-in face who desperately needs acceptance. 
LA SONIA ROBINSON – late 30s, African-American. Willadean’s fleshy neighbor and best friend who speaks her mind and has little fear. 

A pianist also appears onstage who accompanies the Blue Singer.

Rental Materials
Piano/Vocal Score
Del Shores

Del Shores

DEL SHORES (Writer, Director, Producer) STAGE: Cheatin’ (1984), Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?) (1987), Daughters of the Lone Star State (1993), Sordid Lives (1996), Southern Baptist Sissies (2000), The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife (2003) and Yellow (2010). Theatre awards and nominations: Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle, Ovation, GLAAD, Back Stage West Garland, ... view full profile

Other Joe Patrick Ward titles:

Now Playing
Cynthia Sanders 9/23/2016 12:45 PM
Del Shores is known as a comedic writer and there are plenty of laughs in this dark and disturbing  look at domestic abuse, which served as the basis for the film version, Blues for Willadean. Tour de force roles for all the actors. Salty language and violence and adult situations make this one for mature audiences.

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