The themes of this play are not historical but timeless. They concern the issues of moral choice and loyalty; of discipline and freedom of Christian meekness and violence; of materialism and spiritual strength. They are presented in dramatic and moving form. The scene is the Buenos Aires of 1767, where Jesuit missionaries have established Utopian state for the native Indians. The envious Spanish colonists force the king to send a deputy, who orders the dissolution of the state. The Father Provincial is appalled since it means that the Indian would again be fair game for the Spanish slave-traders. He refuses to obey. At this moment the disguised emissary from the Father General of the Jesuit Order reveals himself and accuses the Father Provincial of betraying the true Kingdom of God for a material kingdom of wordly prosperity. He commands the Father Provincial to dissolve the settlement. Torn by the conflict between his vows of obedience and his convictions, the Father Provincial finally yields. Violence breaks out, and in the ensuing conflict the Father Provincial is mortally wounded. The deputy is forced to punish the rebels ruthlessly.
"A real emotional crescendo." - N. Y. World-Telegram and Sun.
"A subtle and fascinating intellectual problem." - N. Y. Herald Tribune.