Emily Mann's world premiere Mrs. Packard is set in llinois, 1861. Reverend Theophilus Packard takes advantage of the law and commits his wife of 21 years to a lunatic asylum without proof of insanity. Was Elizabeth Packard's grasp on reality faltering, or were their mounting disagreements over religion and the raising of their children the impetus for wrongful incarceration? Once inside the brutal prison, a frightened Mrs. Packard meets a charming foe, the asylum's medical superintendent Dr. McFarland. Their inevitable clash proves both surprising and devastating for them both.
Based on actual historical events, Emily Mann, author of Having Our Say, Execution of Justice, and many other acclaimed plays, creates a gripping and ultimately triumphant account of one woman's determination to right a system gone terribly wrong.