By Julie Jensen.
Cast: 2w. The play begins in Utah in 1857—the year more than 100 California-bound immigrants traveling from Missouri and Arkansas were killed in what became known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hettie and Lavinia, 10-year-old friends at the time, know about the nearby massacre, an event that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. We follow their friendship through 40 years (set at 10-year intervals) as they each find their place in an intolerant, patriarchal Mormon society and the polygamy it espouses. The relationship between the women is tested when Hettie marries Lavinia's father, a breach of trust that Lavinia condemns. Lavinia's lifelong hatred of her father becomes clear when Hettie learns that her friend was an eyewitness to the Mountain Meadows Massacre—carried out by Mormons and planned by Lavinia's father. "Jensen has crafted a patchwork of poetry and wisdom in her play...the constant themes of survival and togetherness are powerful throughout." (Backstage) "Steeped in the hard facts of Mormon frontier history, Ms. Jensen's script has a gentle, poetic allure"... (The New York Times) "[Ms. Jensen] uses only two female characters to create a vivid world out of dialogue as spare and simple as her characters' makeshift, utilitarian lives in the Utah desert." (Newsday) One ext. set. Approximate Running Time: 85 minutes.