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A Lie of the Mind


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YA The play opens with Frankie on the phone with his brother Jake, who claims to have killed his wife, Beth. Next, the lights come up on a hospital room where Beth lies, bandaged, aphasic, and confused. Alternating the action between platforms on either side of the stage where Beth's and Jake's families live, Shepard exposes the secrets of sordid pasts of insanity, alcoholism, and alienation. High-school theater students should find a number of short scenes suitable for two-person dialogues. Props and costumes would not be needed for classroom readings. A short radio monologue by Shepard and Joseph Chaikin, The War in Heaven, is included in the last 19 pages of the book. Music notes, a set description, and stage directions accompany the dialogue. Alice Conlon, University of Houston

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