NAWPA: Salvage Synopsis

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by Diane Glancy

Wolf: 32, son of Wolfert, husband of Memela.
Wolfert: 63, father of Wolf, father-in-law of Memela.
Memela: (Me’–mah-lah or Me-me), 32, wife of Wolf, daughter-in-law of Wolfert.
Wolf and his father, Wolfert, run the tow truck and salvage yard called, Blackfeet’s. Memela is a grade-school teacher. Wolfert is a medicine man. Wolf and Memela are general Indians who have lost some but not all of their traditions. They have two sons, ages 15 and 16, who do not appear in the play.



Cut Bank, a small town off the Blackfeet reservation near Browning in northwestern Montana, where Blackfeet Salvage Yard lines the north side of Highway 2.
There is a well worn linoleum floor floating slightly askew as if it were set down amid the hulls of old cars. A cemetery gate. Telephone poles. A billboard of broken glass. The setting is not realistic, but a disembodiment of shape/form, light/dark.
The only furniture on stage is three chairs, a stool, a crate, and a table.
The back of the stage is a corrugated fence that backs up to Highway 2.

Light and shadow illuminate and define the stage. The subtle movement of the characters during the light shifts is at the core of the setting as they move fluidly from one scene/location into the next, melding seamlessly into moonlight, shadow, dawn.
Phoebe, Wolfert’s dead wife, can be represented by lights when she appears as an apparition to Wolfert. Maybe she is actually there. Maybe she is an animal. Wolfert may bring a sandwich to eat while he’s in the cemetery. Maybe an elk or some animal comes for the crumbs.
There is also the possibility for dark spirits who hover over several scenes: the accident, when Stover follows Memela, when Wolf kills Stover, and when Wolf is in prison.
The sound of Phoebe. The beating heart. The hiss of an oxygen tank. A ticking clock. Dogs barking. The sounds of dark spirits. Metal against metal. The toll of a church bell. The Montana wind. Snow falling.

Synopsis written by the author.