THE STORY: As the play begins, Ann, arriving home in the late evening, is seized by a man in a ski mask who forces her to take him to her apartment. Once there he rapes her—and announces that, as she has ripped away his mask, he will have to kill her. But first there is a chilling pas de deux in which Ann stalls for time and the rapist (Joe) reveals that he has been watching her for months from a nearby rooftop and knows even the smallest details of her daily life. Controlling her fear and loathing, Ann tries to convince Joe that she finds him attractive, that she is ready to give herself to him willingly. Although suspicious at first, Joe’s vanity overrules his caution, and Ann seizes the moment to flee, fortunately into the hands of two policemen who are patrolling outside her apartment. The trapped Joe tries to convince the officers that Ann is hysterical, that she has invited him to her apartment, but the ruse fails, and he is taken off. Yet the ordeal is not over, for Ann must exorcise the shock and repugnance which she now relates to men in general, and it is the remaining officer who lets her do this—allowing Ann to act out her trauma, even at his own peril, by quietly shedding his official image and becoming, for the moment, a vulnerable, caring human being who senses another’s anguish and who knows that he can help her work through it to survival.
Winner of the Foundation for the Dramatists Guild/CBS Award. Successfully premiered by the Victory Gardens Theater, in Chicago, this often harrowing but ultimately soaring first play traces the fate of a rape victim from initial trauma to the eventual reconciliation of this shattering event into the continuum of her life. “…a work that stimulates an audience—not just intellectually, but emotionally.” —Minneapolis City Pages. “…to sustain terror, to pull the tension wire tight for 90 minutes, is something else. To do this and also explore a subject with intelligence, power, courage and compassion is really quite remarkable.” —Chicago Sun-Times. “…a play that provokes discussion, thought, soul searching, even argument.” —Minneapolis Tribune.