What if someone was given a diagnosis that they have “six to live.” No one knows if it will be six days, six weeks or six months. Author Carrie Knowles uses this premise as a starting point for her short story “SIX” featured in her latest collection “Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories” (Owl Canyon Press/2019).
The main character, known as “woman,” does not have time for a bucket list, so instead she sets out to right the wrongs of her life. She longs to forgive the man who raped her, and she seeks the forgiveness of the daughter born from that assault. Knowles also transformed this short into a one-act play, which will be staged as a reading on Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m. at Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh. Knowles, the 2014 Piedmont Laureate for short fiction, joins host Frank Stasio with select cast and crew to preview the play. Mia Peters is the director of “SIX: a staged reading”; actress Laquana Henny plays the lead role “woman,” and Justin Cole reads as the doctor. The one-act play is presented by the North Carolina Women’s Theatre Festival, and proceeds from the event benefit their scholarship fund. Knowles is also teaching a workshop called “Write It: Moving from the Page to the Stage” at Southeast Regional Library in Garner on Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. Knowles will also host a book signing for “Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories” at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on May 22 at 7 p.m.