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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