by Karen Hensel, Elana Kent, Patti Johns, Sylvia Meredith, Elizabeth Shaw and Laura Toffenetti
Directed by Jo Durst
Mississippi Theatre Association 1999 Festival
Featuring – Laura Daniel, Madeline Golden, Terry Reese McDowell and Marianne Ulmer
MTA Best Supporting Actress - Madeline Golden
MTA All-Star Cast - Laura Daniel
The action takes place before a sod hut in the Kansas wilderness of the 1870s, where four frontier women wrest a living from the stubborn soil. The matriarch of the group is Ma, a feisty, resourceful survivor whose wanderlust is still strong and who inspires the others with her homespun wisdom and strength. With her are her daughter-in-law Sara, a hardworking young wife and mother who is content with life as she knows it; Etta, a young girl suffering the trauma of having been abducted by Cheyenne yet still optimistic that marriage and happiness may yet await; and Mrs. Nichols, a fastidious and refined Eastern lady forced to seek shelter with the others while her husband recovers from a critical illness. As they cope with wolf attacks, the constant fear of Indians, and the dismal isolation of the prairie, they talk of "going to see the elephant" - crossing the next hill to see what lies on the other side - and it is this sense of striving to achieve all that life can offer that gives the play its power and beauty - and makes it clear that the wilderness was not tamed by men alone.
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