‘Quarters’ is a drama which sees American college professor Blythe living an isolated existence in the city. She has the job and killer apartment she was always wanted but despite it all, she has found herself stuck on life’s conveyor belt with little time to look people in the eye - let alone to get to know her neighbours. Big city living is proving unsettling; particularly tonight. The stuffed toy she has had since childhood refuses to engage in conversation and her oddball neighbour Connie wanders the halls of her apartment building, pulling behind her a rickety old toy cart of power tools on some unknown endeavour. Connie needs another pair of hands and Blythe tentatively agrees, despite the pair having barely spoken two words to each other since she moved in. It emerges that two years ago, Connie’s husband John died suddenly leaving behind a rather sizeable problem which now needs to be addressed. In the middle of Connie’s dimly lit apartment, concealed under a fabric throw, is George. Over the course of an unusual evening, Blythe discovers a new fond sense of hope and optimism which will alter the way she views the world and those around her.
Inspired by the story of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15) ‘Quarters’ is a contemporary tale which opens in an apartment building in the United States. Blythe sits in her apartment, like the disciples on the hillside, overlooking the city. She requires guidance and in ‘Quarters’ this comes in the form of her neighbour Connie. Connie is an outsider, more senior in years, who many, out of fear or ignorance, choose to ignore. In the centre of Connie’s apartment sits ‘George’; a watercooler bottle full of US quarters all baring the face of George Washington. He weighs more than 240 pounds and contains over $5000. Together the pair set about distributing the contents in a series of selfless acts of kindness. Here, Connie enlists Blythe in much the same way as Jesus did his disciples when he broke the loaves and they in turn gave them to the crowds. In a final act of commitment, Blythe continues to spread the messages that she has learned; like the disciples following the death of Jesus. She places a cup of quarters under the desks of her students, each accompanied by a handwritten note.