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The Passion of Mary – American historical religious play about the Quakers

American historical religious play

THE PASSION OF MARY – AMERICAN HISTORICAL RELIGIOUS PLAY

Forty years before the Salem witch trials, Massachusetts’ Puritans were hanging other Christians for slight differences of opinion. The play THE PASSION OF MARY details the importance of the Separation of Church and State in early America through the battles and life story of a young woman that builds self-awareness and confidence while keeping her sense of humor intact in this American historical religious play.

“It wasn’t just witches they were hanging, but their own.” This is the story of Quaker Mary Dyer, who was hanged by Puritans in the Boston Commonwealth in the 1600s.

Featuring a cast of historical characters including early leaders Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, plus England’s Lord Oliver Cromwell, the play starts as Mary buries her child that was stillborn and disfigured. Within weeks Mary’s world crumbles, first seeing her best friend kicked out of Boston where they had settled for over 16 years. Then the colony’s leaders discover the dead baby, and publicize to the entire community that Mary gave birth to a monster. She, too, is excommunicated, and scorned by her neighbors.

Mary ends up in Providence, Rhode Island, with others that were kicked out of Boston. The open-minded Roger Williams invites Mary to visit England with him. It is their hope to create a positive relationship with the Native Americans that live in the new colony.

In England, Mary becomes versed in the loving deeds of Quaker beliefs, and helps soothe the country’s leader Lord Oliver Cromwell through his many fears. Though respected in England, she wants to return home to the new world where her family lives.

Upon her return, Mary’s ship lands in Boston where the Puritans have declared the Quaker religion as illegal. She is arrested. Because her husband still has political ties with the Commonwealth, she is set free and ordered to never return. Mary returns, and is arrested yet again. One of her party is put to death. Mary’s husband, who has been fighting to keep his wife at home, realizes the Puritans’ cruelty, and finally offers his blessing for Mary to return again. His support allows her to sacrifice her life for religious freedom.

Upon Mary’s death, she is welcomed to the afterlife by her child, the one that the leaders of Boston referred to as a “monster.”

Read about playwright Anne Leighton.

Author: Anne Leighton

Type: American historical religious play

Genre: Three act drama

Cast: 8M, 8F

Ages of the actors: Adult

Suitable for: Teens up to perform and to watch

Length: 1.5- 2 hours

Set: Various – sets should be simple and easy to change

Level of difficulty: 8/10 – portraying a real historical character with the correct body language, tone and costumes

Read a Sample of the Script




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Contact Off the Wall Plays with any queries about The Passion of Mary

Copyright © May 2018 Anne Leighton and Off the Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other biographical and religious dramas:

Deliverance – play about Joan of Arc
The Serpent Under It – play about a medium Helen Duncan tried as a witch in World War 2
John Paul Excluded from Paradise – drama about faith