The action of the play occurs within the mind of a dying man. Playing against the other two actors, who enact a multitude of memories (e.g., FDR, Nixon, Brandeis, his own parents, wives and children), Douglas struggles to find the meaning of his life. With the nation now moving in a direction antithetical to his own liberal passions, was his life meaningless? Were the sacrifices—his fight against poverty and sickness as a youth, his failures as husband and father—worth making? How does one's public life balance against the private one? The play ends with a passionate reaffirmation of the power of courage over fear, of the individual over the technological State.
An exploration and celebration of the life of William O. Douglas (1898-1980). Beginning and ending on the last day of his life, the play spans his eighty-one years: as Justice on the Supreme Court where he was defender of civil liberties, personal privacy and the wilderness, as chairman of the SEC fighting a corrupt Wall Street, professor at Yale, his four marriages, his mountain climbing and globetrotting through such lands as Iran and the Himalayas, and his childhood in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The issues are as timely as this morning's headlines. "Powerful, thought-provoking…an absorbing theatrical event…always lively, dramatic, highly personal. The construction of the play is artful indeed…the effect is exhilarating." —NY Magazine. "The play is stirring…remarkable in its ability to juggle ideas, biographical information, great humor and poignant scenes." —The Daily News. "A tour de force…genuine dramatic interchange." —Variety. "MOUNTAIN is worth the climb. I recommend it." —NY Post.