Big Mary

A strong and pertinent message about racial prejudice and the unreasoning fears that ignorance and lack of compassion can generate, the story of “the day they hung an elephant in Eddington,Tennessee” isn’t just about an elephant... its about the elephant in the room.

MAINSTAGE PLAY AT UPPER DARBY SUMMER STAGE

A forum for young adults to create and perform mature, thought-provoking drama.

BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF “MURDEROUS MARY,”
THE CIRCUS ELEPHANT THAT WAS HANGED
IN SMALL-TOWN TENNESSEE

WHAT IF MARY WAS A PERSON?

It is the summer of 1916, and the circus has come to the small town of Eddington, Tennessee. But the star of the show, an elephant named Big Mary ("the largest land animal in captivity"), is not happy. A stand-in trainer provokes her and Mary angrily reacts to his attempts to bring her to heel by giving him a fatal toss over her head—which presents the townspeople with the problem of how to deal with crime by an elephant.

Eventually everybody in town gets involved in the situation, and despite the pleading of a young black orphan girl who wants desperately to join the circus (black people can't in 1916), "wiser" heads prevail, and it is ordained that Big Mary must hang.

Big Mary carries a strong and pertinent message about racial prejudice, the mindless power of an alarmed mob, and the unreasoning fears that ignorance and lack of compassion can generate.

Big Mary takes place in the Choir Room, under the Big Top. Seating is limited.

 

Performances: Friday July 21 & Saturday July 22 7:30 pm