The Ridinghood Incident

My 3 Pigs

"This is an important play to produce on a university campus where date rape is too common a problem... The first act leads us to believe it will be anotehr kind of play with little psychological development of the characters. We are caught off guard when the play suddenly makes a ninety degree turn into violence. The audience experience parallels Gret's. She too makes an unexpected turn into violence. -Susan Mason, Ph.D. Professor, California State University, Los Angeles.

 



Using the familiar plot structure of Little Red Riding Hood, The Ridinghood Incident is a play about date rape. Set in small town America, the play includes a mother-daughter communication struggle as well as a young girl struggling with a religiously conservative group who are suspicious of Gret Ridinghood's desire to walk through the woods to visit her grandfather. Rumors persist of her smelling the flowers and dancing with the wind. A young handsome, slick outsider comes to town and ingratiates himself with the church's Ladies' Auxiliary, who invite him to the youth social, where he meets Gret. The members of the Ladies' Auxiliary unknowingly set up young Gret in their attempt to protect Richard from her evil ways. As she dances through the woods on her way to grandfather's house Richard Wolf attacks and rapes her. Through Gret's struggle to recover from the trauma, she faces judgment from the Ladies' Auxiliary who believes Richard was victimized by Gret. Because of the trauma of Gret's rape, her mother regresses back to her own trauma of rape revealing that she, in fact, is Little Red Ridinghood. Mother and daughter work to heal their relationship and break the cycle of their family dysfunction. We are left with hope for Gret as she empowers herself by pressing charges even though we never learn the verdict of the judicial system.

Lois: Gret’s mother. She is a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary, but she is not as judgmental as she needs to be to be a member in good standing. She and Kathryn were childhood friends.

Kathryn: A Certified Social Worker with a successful private psychotherapy practice. She recently returned to her home town. She is highly respected by the community at large. Kathryn has a strong self image. She is a member of the Church, but not the Ladies' Auxiliary. She is the volunteer Youth Director of the Church.

Gret: The name is short for Margaret. Teenager. A little shy and awkward, but cute. She is eager to learn as much as she can about the world around her. She won’t adjust her principles to be popular with anyone. She is a bit of a rebel, but cares about other people.

Thomas: Lois’s father. Gret’s grandfather. A nice caring and gentle man. He is a nature worshiper, very spiritual. Sort of a Shirley MacLain eccentric with a Will Geer presence.

Richard: The wolf. He looks like the boy-next-door. His face should be in a milk commercial. He is incredibly charming. Everyone should like him in the beginning.

Ladies Auxilary Chorus

Norine: A member of the Ladies' Auxiliary, but she does not fall in line quite as easily as the others. She reluctantly follows lead most of the time. She is careful and wants to make the right decision.

Evelyn: A member of the Ladies' Auxiliary. She is eager to be accepted by the others. She is careful not to make an error for fear she may not be good enough to remain a member.

Elva: A member of the Ladies' Auxiliary. Elva is quick to judge anyone not “good” enough to be in the Auxiliary. She is content with her position--a secure and loyal member.

Elora: President of the Ladies' Auxiliary. She calls all the shots and expects the others to fall in line. Very intimidating and judgmental.

David: Although technically he cannot be a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary because he is a man, David hangs out with the group and attends as many of their functions as he can. He is sort of Elora’s sidekick.