By Nancy Kiefer.
Cast: 2m., 4w. This powerful adult drama deals with the issues of sexual abuse and dissociative identity disorder. Jane Ellen Whitman is a 19-year-old woman living with her parents, Frank and Darla, in a small town in the 1930s. Her behavior fluctuates from shy, intellectual to passive and bizarre, flippant and vindictive. Frank and Darla attribute their daughter's peculiarities to insanity and even demonic possession. When Anita Lloyd comes to visit, she entertains Jane Ellen and Darla with tales about her life with a traveling carnival. Her most intriguing story deals with a tattooed lady named Emily Fans (The Illustrated Woman) who attempted to murder the man who raped her daughter. Jane Ellen, the victim of her father's sexual abuse since she was 5 years old, becomes obsessed with the character of this "goddess" who fears nothing and no one. A short time later, during an intense and emotionally charged scene, a drunken Frank attempts to marry Jane Ellen and force her to have sex with him as she is now his "wife." As none of Jane Ellen's three personalities can deal with this absurd perversion, a new personality spontaneously emerges-The Illustrated Woman who hunts Frank down to bring an end to the terror that has ruled her life. The Illustrated Woman is the winner of the Michele Renee Gildersleeve Playwriting Award. Unit set.