The PlayFinder™

Type of Play

MenWomenTotal Cast

Subgenre Filter(s) Dark Comedy Farce Historical Melodrama Mystery Romantic Satire Tragedy Thriller

The Water Children

ISBN: 978-0-8222-1662-9
Full length, Drama
4 men, 4 women
Total Cast: 8, Flexible Set
FEE: $80 per performance.
THE STORY: Megan is an actress somewhere between "ingenue" and "Mom." When she loses an important role to a younger woman, her agent convinces her to take a part in a commercial for Life Force, an anti-abortion group. Megan, having had an abortion, and being a staunch liberal, is conflicted about the job. She complicates her life even more when she begins to date Randall, the organization's executive director. Megan and Randall hit it off and they try to put their personal beliefs aside, but when Randall's colleagues become militant, things suddenly become more difficult. And when Megan learns she is pregnant, it sends her on the personal journey of her life, spinning into her past, magnifying her present, and leaving her completely at a loss as to her future. To get away from it all, she accepts a job in a Japanese commercial. In Japan, she learns of the shrines to the mizuko—the "water children." She makes a pilgrimage to the temple and learns of Japan's beliefs about abortion—the very reason for the temple's being. While at the shrine, Megan meets the soul of the child she aborted those many years ago and finally makes her own peace and a decision about the child she's now carrying.
"With its mixture of romance, humor and sadness as it addresses the issue of abortion, THE WATER CHILDREN, by Wendy MacLeod, is a fascinating play." —NY Times. "THE WATER CHILDREN…is simply the most intelligent and entertaining play of the season…A work tackling the ticklish issue of abortion as viewed by assorted pro-choicers, pro-lifers, and hetero- and homosexuals holds genuine promise along with a plethora of pitfalls. It is to Miss MacLeod's considerable credit that she fulfills most of the former while sidestepping most of the latter. Her seriocomic piece is as gripping as it is amusing and, best of all, abundantly stimulates thought." —NY Magazine. "…in THE WATER CHILDREN…the writing is even handed, cogent and captivating; an articulate debate touched with…passion and astringent comedy." —Village Voice.