THE STORY: Jacob (Yock) Bauman, a young member of an Amish community near Kitchener, Ontario, chafes at the strict (and, he believes, outmoded) beliefs of his elders, particularly those of his father, Christy. World War I is raging in Europe, and most of Canada's young men have gone off to fight with the British forces, but the Amish, because of their pacifist convictions, have refused to join the war effort. By deciding to enlist, Yock alienates himself not only from family and community, but also from the lovely Katie Brubacher, with whom he has fallen in love. When Yock returns from the war Katie has wed someone else and, ironically, the very acts of bravery which have made him a hero to the rest of Canada have made Yock a bloody-handed villain to his own people. Although the compassionate Katie offers to leave her husband and go off with him, Yock accepts his status as an outcast and departs alone, but not before admitting that, while standing over the body of a slain German soldier, the meaning of pacifism was, at last, powerfully revealed to him. In the end, Yock's stern father (now a bishop) is vindicated—but at the loss of the one he sought to save, his beloved and only son!
Winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award and the Governor General's Award. Presented Off-Broadway by New York's famed Circle Repertory Company, this eloquent play, by one of Canada's most respected writers, deals with the tension and dispute which beset a rural Amish Community in Ontario when one of their young men defies his elders and goes off to fight in World War I. "This gentle, thoughtful, drama asks whether morality and religious belief can stand above the law of the land." —Christian Science Monitor. "The theme isn't so distant from today's anxieties: the reaction of a pacifist community to a war threatening to engulf it." —Variety. "…an honest and effectively human play, written well, with an understated passion…" —Edmonton Sun.