by Ruthie Marlene,
adapted from the play by Jovanka Bach
In a forested glade in New England in the early seventeenth century, Governor Hooker Wainwright Mulwray spies on Hannah Mulwray and her husband making love. Marulla, an old crone, comes upon Hooker unexpectedly, and he threatens to kill her if she should ever relate to others what she has seen.
In the chamber of the tribunal house, Wainwright launches into a vicious attack against Hannahs character, proclaiming her to be a witch to Henry Skiers and Samuel Webcott, two of the colony elders. At the same time, in the bedroom of John and Elizabeth Mears, Hannah helps deliver Elizabeths first child, stillborn and deformed. Looking upon it, the grieving parents proclaim it to be a devils child and that God has abandoned them. Hannah assures them that it is not and takes the infant to the Reverend Learned Shepherd for a full Christian burial.
Meanwhile in the Wainwright parlor, Margaret watches as her husband, Hooker, peers out the window, spying on those gathered at the Mulwray house across the way. He writes their names down in his notebook. Finally, he spots Hannah as she hurries home carrying something in her arms. In the Mulwray home, Hannah explains to all that Elizabeth Mears baby was stillborn. Suddenly, Margaret Wainwright enters and warns them that her husband has taken down all their names; but to what purpose, she does not know.
Reverend Learned Shepherd wants no part of her plan, believing that it would be a sacrilege. But Hannah calls upon the feelings that she and Shepherd had for each other long before she was married. Shepherd weakens and agrees to bury the child.
In the church, Shepherd is conducting the funeral service in front of a small casket as John and Elizabeth Mears look on. Suddenly, Wainwright storms into the church, screaming sacrilege and demands that they open the casket. The casket is opened to reveal nothing more than a white silk cloth. Wainwright rants on about Hannah being a witch, beguiling everyone with her wanton carnality.
Hannah is brought to trial and ultimately hung, and then sometime later, Wainwright is walking in the same forest where he first spied Hannah and her husband making love. He thinks he sees Hannah. Wainwright hurries forward and grabs her, but its only Marulla, who offers him a bit of henbane to calm his lovesick heart. To her surprise, he grabs a handful and shoves it into his mouth. After swallowing it, he kneels over, dead.