Jessie Cates: A divorced woman who lives with her widowed mother. She is an epileptic who has experienced seizures most of her life. Nothing in life has worked out for this woman, including raising a son who turned out to be a disappointing loser. She has suffered with severe extended depression that has never been treated. In the play her long standing despair has been temporarily relieved by a decision that has her uncharacteristically peaceful and talkative. The usual gray pallor and unsteady physical energy of this woman have given way to a new purpose that is expressed in productivity and detached humor.
Thelma "Mama" Cates: A widow, she is starting to feel her age and has easily allowed her depressed daughter to come and take care of all of the details of her life. She sees life as she wants it to be, rather than how it is. She speaks quickly and enjoys talking. She is a simple country woman who never wanted much and could find a way to be happy with whatever she had, even if it meant lying to herself and others. She has no need for intimacy in relationships, but is energized by social situations.