THE STORY: Seeking to retrieve his runaway wife (and the possessions she has taken with her), Coleman Shedman arrives at the rural meeting house of a southern pentecostal sect with a lawyer in tow. But his wife, Nancy, is unwilling to forsake the love and protection of her new "husband," the Reverend Obediah Buckhorn, and return to the brutal, hard-drinking Coleman. And when the strapping Reverend Buckhorn himself arrives, it is quickly evident that Coleman will not be able to take her back by force. Rich with atmosphere and the feel of southern rural life, the play blends humor and poignancy as it probes into the circumstances and stories of the various cult members—culminating in a gripping snake-handling scene in which the cynical Coleman, to his own amazement, is himself converted to a true believer.
A stunning, often funny, and ultimately moving study of a Southern snake-handling cult, which has enjoyed successful productions both Off-Off-Broadway and in leading regional theatres. "…the flow of language and the rhythm of the play's construction are the work of a superior intellect." —NY Magazine. "By every imaginable measuring stick, Linney is an author to be reckoned with…" —Birmingham (Ala.) News. "The play is an American gem cut out of the spirit of mountain people—funny and deeply moving…" —Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald.