The Playwrights Database
Karen Hensel's plays including biography, theatres, agent, synopses, cast sizes, production and published dates
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Going To See the Elephant
the action takes place before a sod hut in the Kansas wilderness of the 1870s, where four frontier women wrest a living from the stubborn soil. the matriarch of the group is Ma, a feisty, resourceful survivor whose wanderlust is still strong and who inspires the others with her homespun wisdom and strength. With her are her daughter-in-law Sara, a hardworking young wife and mother who is content with life as she knows it; etta, a young girl suffering the trauma of having been abducted by Cheyenne yet still optimistic that marriage and happiness may yet await; and Mrs. Nichols, a fastidious and refined eastern lady forced to seek shelter with the others while her husband recovers from a critical illness. as they cope with wolf attacks, the constant fear of Indians, and the dismal isolation of the prairie, they talk of "going to see the elephant" -crossing the next hill to see what lies on the other side-and it is this sense of striving to achieve all that life can offer that gives the play its power and beauty-and makes it clear that the wilderness was not tamed by men alone.
Karen Hensel And elana Kent; based on An idea by Patti Johns; characters created by Patti Johns, Sylvia Meredith, Elizabeth Shaw And Laura Toffenetti
Dramatists Play Service, NY, -
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Male: 1 Female: 4 Other: -
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