NAWPA: The Gathering Synopsis

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The Gathering
by Baba Cooper
Copyright 2008

Emily: Traditional American Indian elder woman between the ages of 65 and 75. Rich in knowledge of the Indian way of life. Humble, loving, intelligent, strong character. Believes in the transformation of the human soul. Mentor to Maddy. Dedicated to Indian people and the traditional way of life.
Maddy: American Indian woman seeking to live the traditional Indian way of life. Early twenties. Caring, inquisitive, hard worker, Emily’s helper and apprentice. Dedicated to the Indian way of life. No longer wandering through life with no direction.
Pauline: American Indian woman. Early to late twenties. Militant Indian activist. Angry, warrior spirit, strong, dedicated to the improvement and treatment of American Indian people. Just released from jail for leading a protest movement to stop Indian children from being removed from their families and placed away from the people.
Debra: Young American Indian woman. Late teens. Half breed. Quiet, inquisitive, apologetic, seeking her identity as an Indian woman, longs to belong to the Indian way of life, limited social skills. Works as a librarian.
Agatha: Full blooded American Indian woman. Forty something. High class, wealthy, intelligent, bitter, arrogant. Resents being American Indian. Unhappy with her life. A Doctor of Orthopedics.
Lillian: Traditional American Indian woman and dancer. Thirty to forty something. Travels through Indian country teaching Indian cultural classes for children and adults.
Blue Dove:A wanna be American Indian woman. Late twenties, early thirties. Makes her living as a strip tease dancer. Phony, sleazy, lies and manipulates, not trustworthy. Looking to make some quick money any way she can.
Grandmother Spirits (2): Solemn, serene, gentle. They appear as spirit guides wearing traditional regalia that resemble eagle dancers. The Spirits are graceful and dance as if in flight.
Dancing Spirits (8): All women spirits. Solemn, dignified, graceful eagle dancers.
FBI Agent: Male. Sly. Pushy. Has a voice-only part.

Spring, 1970. During this time, for American Indian people, there is no Indian Child Welfare Act, American Indian Religious Freedom Act, no Indian gaming or casinos. American Indians remain the most impoverished minority in the United States. Alcoholism is rampant and their number one killer. The wounds of genocide are deep.
Emily, a traditional American Indian elder, lives in a cabin nestled in the serenity of the mountains where heaven meets earth. Emily is keeper of the old Indian ways. Her values and beliefs are unshakeable. Emily holds weekend retreats for Indian women as a way of helping them overcome problems and regenerate their spirits. Maddy, Emily’s apprentice, lives with her and assists with the retreats. The weekend is approaching and Emily senses trouble and knows powerful changes are going to occur.
Six Indian women, for various reasons, have come to the retreat. They are vastly different from one another and must spend the weekend together. This provides for a clash of values and lifestyles. Deep hatreds and secrets erupt. For some, the will to self-destruct is imminent. For others, the beauty of the Indian culture is a dream to be realized.
Emily must see the women through the weekend. She believes if there is to be a healthy future for Indian people, transformation and healing must happen. She knows the women can return to their homes as empowered victors who will play major parts in creating powerful movements that will advance Indian people. Emily must do this before it is too late.

Synopsis written by the author.