All of these crises reflect the hardship of life on the prairie, and the human cost of breaking new territory, both in your soul and in your life. David Rush portrays life on the prairie with truth and sensitivity in this one-act drama.
From the Play
Isaac Shurtleff, mid-20s, a farming lad.
Naomi Blanchard, about 15
Joshua Blanchard, pioneer/ farmer, late 30’s, Naomi’s father.
Emma Blanchard, his wife
Place: Interior of a small prairie cabin on the Iowa plains. Spring. 1835. The room is nearly bare, since the occupants are very soon going to be leaving: a table, a few chairs, etc. Scattered around are bales, boxes, bundles, and other signs of moving day.
Naomi: You gotta stop being afraid of folks, Isaac.
Isaac: I ain’t afraid of folks.
Naomi: Every time you come around here, you get tongue-twisted and stuttery.
Isaac: I ain’t afraid of folks in general; only your Paw.
Naomi: Paw? He’s an old coon hound!
Isaac: He always growls and mutters when he sees me. I swear, he just walks into the room and I start quaking like pudding.
Naomi: He’s trying to rattle up your fence is all.
Isaac: I don’t think he takes much to me. I think he looks at me and figures he’s seeing a fool. One of these days I gotta find a way to change his mind.
Naomi: It better be soon, Isaac; you’re gonna have to ask him for permission, you know.
Isaac: I know. And I’m ready. I practiced a speech all day yesterday.