An original tale by one of America's TYA master playwrights, this play is influenced in theme and style by Japanese anime and Noh spirit plays. The story voices the continuing struggle for balance and survival between humankind and the earth's natural forces. The drama illustrates an 11-year-old girl named Hannah. She waves her "magic" sapphire comb, a remembrance from her mother, over the water each day while singing and dancing to commune with the River Spirit. In a fit of anger, her ferryman father throws Hannah's sapphire comb into the river, insisting that she quit pretending and help him. When Hannah and her friend Corwin discover a mysterious woman in the river, the three pull her to safety. The River Woman holds secrets of the river's needs as well as clues to Hannah's mother's disappearance eight years before. As the spring flooding season threatens the riverside farms, the village begins the annual process of sandbagging. But the River Woman knows the river must flood regularly in order to replenish the soil and to prevent an angry flood later. She is able to convince Hannah, Corwin and Hannah's father to stop sandbagging. As the floods rise and recede, Hannah's sapphire comb is found on the bank, and the puzzle of her mother's disappearance is completed with a bittersweet reunion. Production notes are available in the script containing details on scenery, props, music and movement.
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