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 II

  • Scene 1
    Mother and rebellious son

    Mary’s lively son Will, an organiser for the protests, enters and keeps up the persuasive pressure. She is disturbed by their conversation but seemingly unmoveable.
  • Scene 2
    Wife and a sad husband

    William, her husband, arrives and theirs is a sad and emotional last meeting. He, a leading Rhode Island official, is a steady Puritan, sensitive and long-suffering, still in love with her. He too cannot move her to accept reprieve and banishment, nor does he understand her mindset, and he exits, angrily, leaving her weeping.
  • Scene 3
    Mary Dyer interrogated

    It is the Governor’s house. Mary Dyer enters and Endecott and Norton accuse and interrogate her. Insults and justifications fly around. Previous incidents are recalled, the Hutchinson conflict of the 1630’s in particular. Peacemaker Winthrop, taking a larger view, tries to steer agreement again towards banishment. Mary Dyer repeats her demands for freedom of conscience and worship in the Colony, and repeal of the laws which she sees as increasingly and unjustly persecuting the Quakers. There is stalemate.
  • Scene 4
    The crowd threat grows

    Outside, noise and protests break out . Stones and logs rain on the roof and walls of the Governor’s house. Winston, without, is heard again dispersing the crowd, but the son Will Dyer forces his way into the Governor’s presence, anticipating his mother’s refusals to recant and trying to save her life. She as well as the Governor turn on him, and orders him out, she to avoid his arrest and banishment. Winston grimly reminds him: saving her by force will not lead to the repeal of the laws she seeks.
  • Scene 5
    Committed to be hanged

    Winthrop the Younger tries again to shakes her set viewpoints, her apparent dogma. She wants no thought of her release, until there is repeal. She will obey “God’s leadings and what her conscience, her understanding of natural law, tells her to do”. Endecott and Norton say their consciences “will not allow this Colony” to bow before the religious-mad Quakers. She berates them for their constant narrow-mindedness. They remind her of this Colony’s successes from nothing over 30 years: to which the upstart Quakers had contributed nothing. Stalemate. Her death sentence is confirmed. She is committed to be hanged and led away by Winston.
  • INTERVAL
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