Using poetry, sign language, and oral histories, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland spring play “Mother Hicks” tells the story of the rural Midwest during the Great Depression. Playwright Susan Zeder is considered America’s leading writer of stage works for younger audiences. Performances are 8 p.m. March 31-April 2 and April 7-9; and 2 p.m. April 3 and 10 in the college’s Bruce Davis Theater in Montgomery Hall. After the April 8 performance, the audience will get to ask questions of cast members, the designer, and director in an informal talk-back. Call 240-895-4243 for reservations or e-mail at email@example.com.
Directed by associate professor Holly Blumner, the play deals very movingly with issues of discrimination, disability, exclusion, and the longing to belong. Its central characters are three outsiders: a young 13-year-old orphan, a young deaf man, and a woman in her forties (the titular Mother Hicks) who, because she is a recluse and tends to injured animals, is suspected by ignorant townsfolk of being a witch. These three lonely but loving people find and support each other, creating a positive sense of community.