Dramatists Play Service
Scarlet and Dowd
THE STORY: The scene is a rundown shack in the Arizona desert, the home of Pewsey family. After an absence of a dozen years son Dowd Pewsey returns with his new wife, Penny, whom his family has never met. His arrival exacerbates the tensions and obsessions which beset the Pewsey clan: The mother, Andreas, is a slovenly slattern who has long harbored incestuous desires towards her son; the father, Red, is a foul-mouthed degenerate who has similar designs on their daughter, Scarlet, but quickly transfers these to his new daughter-in-law; while the daughter, Scarlet, is a bizarre twelve-year old who lusts after her brother and tries to get rid of her new rival, Penny, by stranding her in the desert. Heightened in style, the play swings from outrageous humor to chilling violence as it explores the twisted psyches of its unique characters and, in the end, exposes the shocking, gnawing secret which has brought them to their present state.