Around the Island

Friday Night Dialogues: Soap opera stories

Becky Cole

According to Merriam-Webster, a soap opera is defined as “a serial drama performed originally on a daytime radio or television program and chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment.” Soap opera fans are notoriously loyal to their “stories,” many of which run for years.

On Friday, January 20 at 7 p.m., as part of Friday Night Dialogues, Shelter Island’s own Becky Cole will visit the Shelter Island Public Library to talk about her life as a writer on the beloved soap opera, “One Life to Live.” While many know Becky for her business, Griot Fine Custom Refinishing, or her leadership of the Library’s “Shakespeare in Community” group, not everyone is aware of her history as a soap opera writer from 1990 to 2000.

Soap operas are aired five days a week, 52 weeks a year. The life of a soap opera writer is grueling as she tries to keep the story moving forward in interesting ways. Soap operas are stories that never end — characters marry and divorce and re-marry, sometimes several times. Writers may be challenged by children who age eight years overnight or characters that return from the dead.

Becky excelled at this demanding work, earning a Daytime Emmy and a Writers Guild of America award.

Join us this Friday as Becky pulls back the curtain on the complicated and oh so addictive world of “soaps.”

Friday Night Dialogues take place in the Library’s Community Room and are free and open to all (although donations are always appreciated!)

Next Up: Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m., Sarah Shepherd will speak about the life of a beekeeper.