Two-Headed, Julie Jensen's drama about 19th-century Mormon women, will have its West Coast premiere at Inside the Ford Jan. 20, directed by Veronica Brady and starring Colette Kilroy and Mary Mara. The run is through Feb. 25.
Two-Headed is set in mid- nineteenth century southern Utah, where the local Mormon militia butchered over one hundred men, women and children in what came to be known as the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Jensen focuses on two Mormon girls who grow into womanhood and become wives and mothers in the harsh Western frontier in the aftermath of that bloodbath. The narrative begins in 1857 and spans 40 years.
Lavinia and Hettie live and cope in the new land. Not all their challenges come from the elements. They live in an insular social order that is overwhelmingly patriarchal and dictates that polygamy is religiously ordained. The early death of a beloved girl friend, the rule of men, poverty, and the forbidding landscape all combine to intensify the womens' sense of loneliness and isolation. For emotional sustenance, they have only each other.
Jensen is best known locally for The Last Lists of My Mad Mother, last season's long-running hit at the Hudson which won unanimous critical and popular acclaim. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Col. William H. Dame, who planned the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
Two-Headed was produced in May, 2000 at Women's Project Theatre in New York. The West Coast production is part of Inside the Ford's 2001 season, a collaboration between the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and A.S.K. Theatre Projects.Inside the Ford is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E. For tickets and information call (323) 461-3673 or visit www.tickets.com (and enter Two-Headed).
— By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent