In 1971, before domestic violence shelters were part of the cultural landscape, Agnes, the proprietress of a little bed and breakfast in the Pacific Northwest, has been running her own underground railroad of sorts. She helps abused girls escape, recover and move on. At it for 20 years, Agnes thinks she’s seen pretty much all there is to see in the darkness between men and women. She’s not afraid of the victims or their abusers; it’s her boy-crazy teenage daughter, Penny, who terrifies her. So when Mary Anne, a charming new girl with a battered face, arrives, Agnes thinks she’s found the solution. But Mary Anne is not as stable as she seems. And outside, in the distance, the drumbeats of a larger social unrest are beginning to rattle the walls. The play explores the undefined relationship between sex and violence, desire and dependence, feminism and foolery.
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