A: Mercy Otis Warren Pf: No known professional production Pb: 1775 G: Drama in 2 acts; blank verse S: Massachusetts in the American colonies, 1770s C: 16 m, 1 fA group of men, loyal to George III and Britain, have gathered together to discuss the threat posed by the American colonials who are striving for independence. They are a motley und unattractive collection, motivated by different considerations, and include figures of the law (Chief Justice Hazelrod and Judge Meagre), soldiers (General Sylla, Brigadier Hateall), foppish aristocracy (Sir Sparrow Spendall), and hangers-on (Dupe). Significantly, Hateall is also a wife-beater. They implore Sylla to repress with force the aspirations of the rebels, but he is moved by his sense of humanity and justice, acknowledging their right to live in freedom. In a short epilogue, a lady pleads that no more men should have to die in the cause of freedom.
A: Mercy Otis Warren Pf: No known professional production Pb: 1775 G: Drama in 2 acts; blank verse S: Massachusetts in the American colonies, 1770s C: 16 m, 1 f
Warren was the wife of one of the leaders of the American War of Independence, James Warren, president of the Provisional Congress of Massachusetts, and also a close friend of John and Gabriel Adams. Written a year before the Declaration of Independence, The Group is one of the earliest play texts dealing with contemporary America (the first professionally produced play by a native author, Thomas Godfrey's The Prince of Parthia (1767) was on a classical subject). Virtually devoid of dramatic action, Warren's satirical piece was acted by amateurs but was read widely.