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"Mason-Dixon"

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Gage, Carolyn (American playwright, March 14, 1952- ), "Mason-Dixon,"

a 35-minute drama in English set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., 1865,

2f,

© 1994, script/rights available from Carolyn Gage, 136 Nichols St. #1, Lewiston, Maine 04240, U.S.A., telephone 207-782-5521, e-mail cgage@javanet.com. Cited by playwright July 3, 1997, and updated April 15, 1998, July 30, 1998, and March 25, 1999; Gage says,

Dramatis Personae Elizabeth (f), a plantation owner's daughter; Mary (f), an African-American

Synopsis "As a plantation owner's daughter, Elizabeth was 'given' an enslaved child, Mary, who was her same age. The two girls grew up together, loving each other passionately. At puberty, Elizabeth was sent away to school, and it was thirty years before she was to see Mary again-by then a free African-American woman teaching Black children in Philadelphia. When the play opens Elizabeth is demanding that Mary recognize their former friendship. Mary, now an angry Black separatist, is not so eager to reclaim the past. Elizabeth has become a spy for the Union army and in what she sees as the ultimate gesture of reconciliation, she offers Mary the 'opportunity' to gather intelligence by returning to the South and working as a maid at the Confederate White House. In the course of their argument, both women share the information that they were sexually abused by Elizabeth's father.

Comment "Based on a true story, 'Mason-Dixon' explores the interface of sex, race, and class."   See Catalog of Lesbian Plays by Carolyn Gage.

Themes espionage, incest, longtime friendship, racism, sexual abuse, teacher.

See also Carolyn Gage's

  • "Jane Addams and the Devil Baby," a 20-minute drama in English set in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., 1912, 3f
  • "Louisa May Incest," a 30-minute drama in English set in Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1868, 2f

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