Frustrated in her attempts to deal honestly with terminal patients, Dr. Alice Franklin is dismissed from one hospital and moves on to another, only to find herself faced once again with the same dilemma—a cancer patient who is held hostage to the fervent beliefs of her husband, a faith healer who is convinced that there is really no such thing as death. All those close to Alice also seem to draw her further into a confrontation with mortality: her father is dying; Her relationship with her mother grows more strained as a result; and she begins an affair with another doctor just as he learns that he too has cancer. Alice writes a successful book about her work with the terminally ill and, in a series of spare, sharply drawn scenes, she is brought face-to-face with such complex issues as life after death, New Age medicine, and euthanasia, as well as the realization that her increasingly radical approach to these subjects could have a harmful effect on her life and career. She remains throughout, however, a consistently courageous and witty heroine, whose search addresses, with compassion and insight, questions of such universality that they will linger in the mind long after the play has ended.
A probing and often wryly humorous play about the psychological aspects of death, by one of our most challenging and innovative playwrights. Successfully produced in both Los Angeles and New York (by Playwrights Horizons), the play traces the postwar life of an army surgeon who returns from Vietnam determined to sort out her tangled feelings about death, as well as the broader issue of how the dying are treated by a fearful society. "…Bell is an intelligent, quick-witted writer who makes his characters, both living and dying, worth listening to…" —LA Times. "…an ambitious, extended series of philosophical riffs…moments of both soaring lyricism and mordant wit…" —The Register.