Criminal by Elizabeth Dancoes


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In 1955 a woman disappeared leaving her child in the care of her only friend. "Criminal" is the story of that child's search for the truth. 1954. Marion, pregnant, tries to scrub blood off her kitchen floor. Is it hers or her husband's? Her neighbor Jean has suspicions of her own but staunchly supports Marion through a police investigation. Nevertheless, haunted by her husband Donald's ghost and the memory of her own mother's insanity, Marion arrives at a desperate solution. 1993. Denise attempts to retrieve her personal history when her mother's only friend, Jean, dies. This desire drives her to articulate the disturbing nature of her alienation and the quest to determine her identity. In this undertaking she embodies a series of female ancestors, spanning over two and a half centuries, beginning with the first to emigrate from England in 1717 (Catherine Littlewood) and ending with her grandmother (Flora Belle). These two threads interweave in a dance of longing, betrayal and retribution. They come together with the only realized expression of love from the mother possessed by the daughter; it is from this 'message in a bottle' that Denise has extrapolated the world of the play.

Year Printed: 1997
First produced in 1997 at Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver, BC

Running Time: 75 minutes

Acts: 1

Male Cast: 1
Female Cast: 3