Was Emily Dickenson a victim of incest? Her poems suggest the possibility. Take this excerpt, for instance:
"A great Hope fellYou heard no noise
The Ruin was within
Oh cunning wreck that told no tale
And let no Witness in. . .
He put the Belt around my life -
I heard the buckle snap
And turned away, imperial
My lifetime folding up. . ."
Michael D. Vought's "The Puppeteer" addresses the reality and horror of sexual abuse and incest, the beatings, the lies, the fear.
A staged reading of "The Puppeteer," a new play dealing with these themes, will be presented free of charge on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Lab Theater on the University of Utah campus.
The drama addresses incest and sexual abuse in a frank and mature manner and coincides with the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, being held Sunday, Oct. 22, through Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Salt Palace.
Conference participants are invited to see this reading. The conference will discuss ways and means to eradicate incest.
The action of the play is set in the mind of the central character, Carla Hughes. Carla, a high school student, has created a fantasy life that has many characters and she incorporates their voices into the puppet show she presents to children. The role of Carla will be read by Holly Claspill, a senior in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah.
One of Carla's classmates, Dean (read by theater student Christopher Borg), is a foster child who senses that something is not right about Carla. He encourages Carla to find out the truth about her past which helps her confront her situation and deal with her father.
Vought has adapted his play from Michelle Morris' novel "If I Should Die Before I Wake."
The Lab Theatre is located next to the U. bookstore.