Set in colonial America, the play tells the story of Mary Rowlandson, who is abducted with her baby son during an Indian uprising that left a dozen New England settlements in ruins. At first we meet Mary as a woman of sixty recalling the momentous event of her youth; then Mary at thirty appears and acts out the events themselves—her capture by the Indian leader, King Philip; and the retribution exacted by her fanatical minister husband, Joseph Rowlandson, and the other settlers. In a series of deftly written, compelling scenes, the irony of the situation in which the protagonists find themselves is made clear: The noble, dignified Indian leader is forced into savage acts of vengeance against his will; while the God-fearing Puritans, despite the teachings of their church, counter with equally terrible acts. In the end King Philip, accepting the inevitable, lays down his arms and surrenders to his fate; yet, as the play so eloquently confirms, the end result is not a matter of victory—but, rather, of the sowing of the seeds of white racism which will bear bitter fruit in succeeding generations.
An eloquent and moving evocation of a tragic page in our early history the inexorable destruction of the American Indian. First presented by the renowned Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 1983 Festival of Short Plays. "…it is written with a spare lyricism that brings it to a quick and shattering emotional catharsis." —Louisville Courier-Journal. "…took us back to colonial times for a mordant and poetic tale about an Indian chief forced into acts of savagery." —NY Times.