Act 1, Scene 1
* The play is set in Mississippi in the 1980s, where Carnelle lives.
* Carnelle's goal is to win the local beauty contest.
* Popeye, Carnelle's friend, has arrived to take measurements for Carnelle's costume.
* Carnelle has been living in her aunt's home alone since her aunt died in December.
* Carnelle's aunt has raised her since she was 9 years old; both her parents have died at this point.
* Elain and Delmount show up at the house; both are Carnelle's cousins.
* Elain was once crowned Miss Firecracker.
* Popeye has fallen in love with Delmount and explains to him the eye injury she claims allows her to hear things through her eyes.
Act 1, Scene 2
* Carnelle is awaiting a call from the pageant coordinator about her acceptance into the pageant.
* Franklin calls to talk to Elain and wants her to come back home.
* Carnelle gets the call that she was accepted into...
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