In an ordinary street, in an ordinary suburb, in an ordinary town, something is amiss.
It's not the maths exam the teens are about to fail, or the overdue essay. It's not global warming or fast-fashion sweatshops. It's a low buzz of anxiety, a quiet terror in the middle of the night.
Because girls have been going missing.
They've either walked off into the bush to live out some wild fantasy … or … or …
The adults aren't taking any chances. All young women are required to be registered with authorities. And now a high fence is being erected. And now all females under the age of 18 have to wear a tracking device. And now they have to beware what they say or do in case it puts them in mortal danger. They will be controlled, and they will be safe.
But like a sliver of glass lodged under a manicured nail, this thought will not leave the girls alone: I am my own person; take me seriously.
Morgan Rose's little girls alone in the woods is a whip-smart adaptation of The Bacchae that puts a contemporary feminist lens on the Greek legend of Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, festivity, theatre and ritual madness. It dares us to go into the woods and seek out what knowledge lies beyond the border of respectability and rules. What worlds await us?
Maybe if I was older.
Maybe if I was larger.
Maybe if I was something else
I would feel like
Like I could say something
and people would turn their heads
because they heard it
and believed it.