THE STORY: Geri, a seventeen-year-old, Vietnamese-American, has taken time out from a rigorous touring schedule as a piano prodigy to stay on her Aunt Geneva's Redwood plantation in Northern California. She's been coming here for years, but recently she's become obsessed with approaching the homeless Vietnam veterans who retreated to the forests because they couldn't cope with society after returning from the war. One such vet-eran she interviews in the forest, Lyman, she detains against his will and tells him lies about what she does know to be true about her nameless natural father in hopes that maybe Lyman knew, or even is, him. Lyman acts guilty and tries to flee, but Geri, who says she's been studying the mysticism of the East, casts a spell over him that she says will bring him back to her. Geneva is horrified at Geri's actions, and while she warns her of the dangers of approaching these homeless men, she also sympathizes with Geri's predicament: Namely, as an Asian woman, Geri feels a deep need to know her ancestral history (and in particular the history of her father) in order to structure her life. Tired of the classical music circuit and recording contracts, Geri wants to establish a new life for herself based on knowledge about her biological parents. Her adoptive father, who encouraged her in music from an early age, has since died of alcoholism while her adoptive mother has taken to world travel and has no time for Geri. Geneva gives Geri some details about her natural father that makes it seem like the man Geri met in the forest is indeed him. She persuades her aunt to come with her and they finally meet with Lyman where the shocking and moving truth of Geri's heritage comes to light.
A seventeen-year-old Vietnamese-American girl raised by wealthy adoptive parents in the United States, journeys into the towering Redwood forests of Northern California in search of the natural father she lost after the Vietnam War. "[Lanford Wilson's] most powerful [play] since TALLEY'S FOLLY…a state-of-the-nation piece for the early 1990s…enormous wit and compassion…a real yarn with a satisfying old-fashioned mousetrap of a plot." —NY Times. "…a fascinating, suspenseful yarn." —USA Today.