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“The Lady Doth Protest”

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Peterson, Eric C. (American playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, 1970-____), “The Lady Doth Protest,”

a 10-minute drama in English, set in a police station in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., late at night, spring in the months preceding the War in Iraq, 2003,


; • © 2003 by Eric C. Peterson; • in Eric C. Peterson’s The Lady Doth Protest (Washington, D.C., U.S.A.: The Author, 2003); • script/rights available from Eric C. Peterson, 1533 D Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, U.S.A., e-mail Red7Eric@aol.com, telephone (home) 202-397-7150, http://hometown.aol.com/dctriplethreat/. • Cited by Eric C. Peterson via ftp January 21, 2004; Peterson says,

§ Dramatis Personae Hannah (f), 57, Diana's mother, a hell-raiser and social activist in her youth, retains her ideals, disenchanted with the endless protests, sit-ins, and demonstrations that defined her college years; Diana (f), 20), Hannah’s daughter, an idealist, anti-war activist.

§ Synopsis “It's 4:00 a.m. as Saturday gives way to Sunday. Having driven to Washington from her home in Philadelphia, Hannah awaits her daughter's release from a jail cell. Diana finally appears, jubilant, claiming the seven hours of lockup constitute the best day in her life thus far. Hannah, unimpressed; wants to get on the road as soon as possible, but the mother and daughter must wait for the release of Diana's belongings. Diana waxes rhapsodic about the march for peace, the arrests, and the real-live prostitutes she has met in her cell. Eventually, the mother loses her cool. Hannah explains to her daughter that, as a child activist in the 1960s, she had protested and demonstrated specifically so that future generations wouldn't have to. Seeing the bruises on Diana’s wrists is breaking her heart—and protesting never changed the world, anyway. Diana begs to differ, explaining that she has found a cause that allows her to follow in the activist footsteps of her mother. She recalls how the activists in the 1960s indeed changed the course of human history and argues that merely the act of speaking out makes for a happier existence whether anyone listens or not. Then Diana tells how proud she is of her mother.

§ Comment “The play takes place in one scene, and is easily staged on a bare stage, or with a few black boxes. The play takes place in a political setting, but as both characters are left-leaning, doesn't make a political statement specific to the War in Iraq—rather, the conflict explores what it means to be an activist, and the exhilaration that comes with finding your political voice for the first time. • ‘The Lady Doth Protest’ was a finalist in the 2003 Washington Theatre Festival's 10-Minute Play Competition.”

§ Themes 1960s, activism, demonstration, Iraq, jail, liberals, mother-daughter relationship, peace, protests, war, Washington, D.C.

See also Eric C. Peterson's

  • "Afterglow," a 23-minute comedy-drama in five scenes in English set in a bedroom, October-December, 1994, 1m1f
  • "Jackpot," a 10-minute comedy in English, evening, 1996, 1m1f
  • "Letters to Orenthal," a 10-minute sociopolitical drama in English set simultaneously at three writing desks in different parts of America, October 4, 1995, 1m2f or 2m1f

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted January 24, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

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