A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.
Overheard at Balisi on Queen St West
Balisi used to be a shoe store, but now focuses on clothing.
Kofi, 21, stands at the entrance to the store, he’s dressed in loose, stylish clothing that floats around his body. His eyes are bright, his smile is wide.
Enter Carole, 48. She tosses a mane of expensively curled blonde hair. Her lips are very glossy.
Kofi steps in front of her, blocking her path.
Kofi: Oh my God, hi!
Kofi: I love your–
Kofi looks Carole up and down, trying to find something to compliment.
Kofi: How’s your day going so far?
Kofi: So glad it’s not raining, right?!
Kofi: One nice last weekend of the summer, right?
Kofi: Did you do anything awesome today?
Kofi: Got anything fun planned?
Carole: Well, I was going to buy some shoes.
Kofi’s smile drops. Then he picks it back up.
Kofi: Um, well, like, a lot of our shoes? Like, all of them? They’ve been moved to our other location.
Carole looks beyond Kofi’s head. Indeed, there are no shoes at this Balisi location.
Kofi: (Beginning to speak more quickly) So we’re mostly clothes, now, actually we’re all clothes. And like–
Kofi grabs a leather jacket from a nearby rack.
Kofi: We just got these in. Beautiful. Would look STUNNING with your hair.
Carole: So you don’t have any shoes?
Carole: So I’ve been talking to you for no reason?
Kofi laughs loudly, then drops his head.
Carole leaves the store.
Kofi watches her walk away, his smile fading. Alex, Kofi’s manager, stands behind the counter.
Alex: You’re going to have to try harder to engage customers.
Kofi: I don’t know what else to say to them.
Alex: Well, figure it out.