The action begins in Troy, New York, where Janet Ann, a lonely teenager with a vivid imagination, chafes under the restraints imposed by her blue-collar family. She dreams of becoming a movie star and believes that she is on her way toward achieving her goal when she persuades her brother, a would-be song writer, to run off with her to New York City. But her hopes remain elusive and her fantasies become increasingly bizarre as Janet Ann is drawn into a series of picaresque but destructive adventures while zig-zagging across the country in her westward flight. Driven ever deeper inside herself, her calls to her family become more disoriented and outlandish as her alarmed parents plead with her to come home before her life is forfeited to her delusions. But, in the end, it is hopelessness which prevails—as Janet Ann, in the final, devastating scene of the play, chooses oblivion to a reality that seems to offer no place for her to exist happily.
Selected by the Foundation of the Dramatists Guild/CBS New Plays Program, this affecting and imaginatively constructed play was initially presented by New York's famed Playwrights Horizons. Concerned with the tragic disparity between a young girl's fantasies and the drab reality she seeks to overcome, the play traces her inevitable descent into alienation and fatal hopelessness.