A dramatisation of the story surrounding the death by hanging of the Quaker Mary Dyer in 1660
Scenario
Act I                
Act II
Act III
 

Scenario Act I

  • Scene 1
    A protesting crowd gathers
    It is May 1660. Boston, Massachusetts. Scene opens on a woman sitting still and quiet in a large dark cell. Outside the jail of this strictly Puritan town a disturbance begins (pre-recorded and played off-stage). The crowd protests about the hanging due next day of the woman Mary Dyer, a Quaker. The crowd is dispersed, by militia captain Tom Winston. Inside, she worships in the silence, stillness
  • Scene 2
    A sympathetic jailor
    Jailor Adams enters the cell, an experienced stolid old soldier. He raises the background to the disturbance with Mrs Dyer, an educated, experienced, and worldly mother of a large family. He questions Quakerism, why the Quakers speak out and cause trouble for all? He explains his family view. She is not able to explain her determination to his understanding.
  • Scene 3
    An enigmatic Captain

    Captain Winston, a near-Quaker sympathiser, enters to say Governor Endecott and the unforgiving Teacher, the Reverend Norton, will see her later that evening. Winston questions her motives, surely banishment again would serve the Quaker cause better than her death? She finds that simplistic and emotional, he too cannot understand.
  • Scene 4
    The Governor and his cleric

    It is Governor Endecott’s House nearby. The testy old pioneer and his educated and now bigoted cleric Norton, are on stage; they justify their cruel laws and savage treatment of these trouble-stirring, even blaspheming Quakers. Unexpectedly, Winthrop the Younger, Governor of neighbouring Connecticut Colony, makes an entrance, to cajole them into seeking her banishment, not hanging. He warns that in Old England, senior Courtiers, advisers to the new King-to-be, Charles II, are watching, and in receipt of reports on the Colony.
  • INTERVAL (OPTIONAL)
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