By Meryl Friedman from the book by Mary Webb. Original music and additional lyrics by Meryl Friedman.
Cast: 4m., 5w. (Doubling and cellist.) Precious Bane is a story of ambition, prejudice, hatred, and the redemptive power of love. The play is set against the backdrop of rural England where mysticism, superstition and native folklore played an important role in land whose residents eked out a living under the harshest conditions. Prudence Sarn, born with a harelip and feared and scorned as a witch and outcast, possesses a passionate heart and spirit. Convinced by her brother, Gideon, that she has no hope a marriage and a family, she indentures herself to him and agrees to subjugate her own dreams to further his ambitious ends. As their story unfolds, Prue is torn between her loyalty to her brother an her love for the traveling weaver, a man who sees beyond her "affliction" to the strength and beauty in her heart. The play was commissioned by Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. Area staging.