Drama, 1 man, 3 women
Full-length play, about 85 minutes, no intermission


Summary

The lives of two very different farm families intertwine after a deadly incident of pesticide drift. Two wives, Nora and Molly, find themselves caught between holding on to what was lost and moving forward.

As a married gay couple with two brown-skinned kids, Molly and Jane were never accepted by their conservative farm community. When Molly’s daughter hires a lawyer to sue the chemical company and Nora, the situation gets ugly.

Molly struggles to keep farming, despite her grief and her son’s constant pressure to leave the place that killed his mother. As her life and family seem to be falling to pieces, Molly confronts Nora with a rifle, desperate for some final action. If it won’t be against Nora, maybe it will be against herself.

Drift finds dark poetry in how we relate to the land around us and how we grow food in contemporary America. Can these families find a way to move forward, or will the force of their grief shatter them completely?

You can read the complete script for Drift on the New Play Exchange.

Characters:  1 man, 3 women.

MOLLY BENZA.  55. White. A relatively new but enthusiastic and committed organic farmer (very small scale farm). Mother to Jamal and Gwen. Was married to Jane, who is now dead, from Clomazone poisoning. She often wears a harvest knife on her belt and always dresses in her farm clothes.

JAMAL BENZA.  23.  Molly and Jane’s adoptive son. Black. A cameraman/videographer. Not interested in farming.

CALLIE BENZA.  25. Molly and Jane’s adoptive daughter. Multi-racial in background–a woman of color, but perhaps not easily pigeon-holed into a standard American racial category. A graduate student and possible future farmer.

NORA DAVIDSON.  58. White. Long-time resident of this town. Was married to part-time farmer John for 36 years, before he died in a pesticide exposure accident. Works in town–she’s not a farmer.

Setting: The fields and yard on a small organic vegetable farm. And a few places nearby, including Nora’s farm.

Time: Various times during the growing season, spanning from early May to early November.

Production history:

  • Reading, Munroe Center for the Arts (Rebecca Bradshaw, director), Lexington, MA, 2018
  • Workshop, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference (Christy Montour-Larson, director), McCall, Idaho, 2017
  • Workshop, Huntington Theatre Company (Mari Lyons, director), Boston, MA, 2016