NAWPA: Crow on the Cradle Synopsis

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Crow on the Cradle
by JudyLee Olivia

Jill: Mixed race (Native American and white) woman in her early forties. She is intelligent, has a very dry sense of humor. She dresses casually. Has dark hair and eyes and wears several pieces of turquoise jewelry.
Shirley: Jill’s best friend, also in her early forties. She has a very “corporate” look but is not completely comfortable in her suit. She is attractive, intelligent, and sarcastic. She is Caucasian.
Dan: Jill’s husband. He is black, in his mid forties and wears a business suit, but has a casual look. His eyes are green and his skin is light brown.
All the action takes place in two rooma, though we see only one room at a time. The “walls” of the room stretch from the rafters and seem endless as if looking up at a skyscraper. The walls look like gauze, which creates a surreal, uncomfortable entombed feeling. The rooms are found in a high-rise office building on the 40th floor in a large metropolitan city. It is early winter, late 1990’s.
Jill and Dan have decided to have an abortion, though neither is completely sure about their decision. Shirley meets Jill at the clinic and there they wait in the starkness of the over-white room. Their discussions embrace various issues including an exchange about how far we have “progressed.” Shirley does her best to take Jill’s mind off of the event by doing a mad doctor routine while they wait in an adjoining room. Dan arrives just as Jill goes into the surgery room. Dan and Shirley discuss the notion of how the world has “progressed” as well. The philisophical stance is best summed up in a line by Jill: “I’ll be fine. We’re on the forty-fourth floor, right next to God. I can feel the building swaying. Can you? What was it Joan Baez sang, ‘And the winds of the old days will blow through my hair…’ That’s what I’ll think about when I’m in there. The old days before we worried about what the world would think.”

Synopsis written by the author.