Written as a one-act play but with a possible intermission after the climactic thirteenth scene, Jane Martin’s emotional Keely and Du chronicles the fate of Keely from the last preparations for her imprisonment through her eventual release. Set almost exclusively in a sparsely furnished basement that has been converted into a prison, the play focuses on Keely’s developing and changing relationship with her adversary Du, the fundamentalist Christian who guards her to prevent her from terminating her unwanted pregnancy.
In the beginning, Du waits for two male orderlies to bring in the body of the unconscious, kidnapped Keely. She prepares the bed on which Keely will lie, handcuffed to its iron bedstead, and greets Walter, the organizer of the kidnapping. Walter is a sanctimonious pastor of fifty, who acts with the single-mindedness of a well-programmed robot. Du, on the other hand, betrays her underlying humanity through small acts of kindness toward their kidnap victim.
With Walter gone for four days, Du tends to Keely. At first, Keely fights with Du, throwing her breakfast on the floor. Du responds in a befuddled way, almost like a disoriented grandmother, telling of her own children and marriage, when all Keely cares about is to leave her prison. Du reveals her religious beliefs to Keely and tells her that she will not be released until it is too late to have an abortion.
Walter appears and begins his lectures to Keely. Self-righteously, he justifies his actions with his extreme religious beliefs and tells Keely that she will come to love her child once it is born. Keely rejects this attack on her liberty and...
(The entire section is 678 words.)