Fierce, mercurial, twenty-nine-year-old Shirley-Diane met Billy, a thirty-two-year-old ex-con, and fell in love with him at their North Carolina working-class Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Together the two of them are striving for a clean life, attempting to overcome rough youths, bouts with hard drugs and, for Billy, jail time and the marine corps. They try to believe in love as it's come to them—through grace. Soren, the self-described "Dead Eye Boy," is Shirley-Diane's fourteen-year-old son and the damaged reminder of her dark past, his eye having been malformed in childbirth. Soren intuits his mother's ambivalence about his existence, manifest in their hardbit semi-sibling relationship, which is close, playful and deeply antagonistic. For Billy, Soren is not only a reflection of his own painful childhood but a chance for redemption. With a shaky, untrained, but resolutely sincere manner, he reaches out to the boy—as no one reached out to him in his youth. With the constant, terrifying specter of their addiction always close at hand, the three of them face off and pair up in ever-changing power and love lines that ultimately converge to give THE DEAD EYE BOY its eviscerating tragic dimension.
"…a grim, insightful portrait of an unmoored family…shows a fine, un-forced ear for Southern blue-collar dialogue. And it transforms what might have been an animated case history into a far fresher study of irrevocably warped impulses." —NY Times.
"MacLachlan's play isn't for the squeamish, but then, tragic stories delivered at such an unrelenting fever pitch rarely are." —Variety.