By Darrah Cloud.
Cast: 3m., 3w. "A fascinating, exciting play... At the center of The Stick Wife is a fragile, dreamy housewife Jessie Bliss. Shortly after the play begins, something terrible happens near the blanched, ordinary little tract of clapboard houses where Jessie lives with her uncaring, much-absent husband Ed. The year is 1963, the place is Birmingham, Alabama, and the cataclysmic event is the September bombing of a black church that killed four little girls. Ed, Tom and Big Albert are members of a 'club,' the Ku Klux Klan, and Jessie intuitively knows that they are implicated in the bombing. She does not want to know anything about it, nor are the other wives, Marguerite and Betty, overly curious about the club's business. But Jessie sees Ed's guilt, and the world collapses around her." (Hartford Courant) The men are failures in life—poor, ignorant and weak. Their only power is in controlling those they see as weaker. To them, this means blacks and their wives. The wives, who "have nowhere else to go," have been compliant, but with the bombing, Jessie can no longer deny who Ed is or what he does. Secretly, she informs on him to the FBI, while playing the "stick" wife—trusting, seemingly unaware, doing her chores and keeping quiet—hoping to survive. One ext. set.