Mary Courage & Her Children scrutinizes the rhetoric of the Iraq war in three acts
July 26, 2010 — Mary Courage & Her Children, the musical comedy that reimagines the 2007 Senate vote to extend funding for the Iraq war, is now available in paperback by playwright Terry Dugan at www.marycourage.com.
A battle is brewing in the Senate over a bill to support the troops and indefinitely fund the war against the Arabs, but as public opinion has soured on the bloodshed, some senators are getting cold feet about doing the right thing: voting yes.
With the vote too close for comfort, Mary Courage, Washington’s top defense lobbyist, turns her spin machine into overdrive to lock up the last three votes needed to secure the funding. However, the new junior senator from the state of Depression, a famous musician swept into office, will use his charm and charisma to kill the legislation and bring home the children of his state to their families.
As Mary focuses on political maneuvering, she becomes distracted by the return of her son, Veggie, who was mortally wounded in the war but now rests comfortably on the other end of a ventilator in an army hospital.
A satire with a “Mother Courage” meets “The Wizard of Oz” sensibility, Mary Courage & Her Children uses sharp lyrics, dark humor and stark realism to delve into the politics of war and all its spin cycles, greasy palms, talking points and scapegoats.
“Mary Courage is a handful of confidence, a bit of spitfire, a tinge of vulnerability, a pinch of saleswoman and a heap of survivor,” says Dugan. “She’s a widower who doesn’t have time for her own weakness; she’s too busy trying to cure everyone else’s. She’s compassionate to the risk that soldiers take, but she’s unapologetic in saying that bad people need to be killed. She says it so that her children, the politicians, don’t have to.
“Whether Mary Courage is an antagonist or protagonist is up for debate, depending on which side of the war you throw your support behind. She’s a patriot and protector of the people for making sure the Senate spends enough money to give the soldiers the tools they need. Or she’s a manipulative, greedy, slithering snake who plays on peoples’ emotions and uses piles of money to corrupt the corruptible. Most likely, she’s somewhere complicated in-between.”
To read more about Mary Courage or purchase your copy, visit www.marycourage.com or the Mary Courage page at the author’s website, http://terrydugan.com/full-length-plays/mary-courage-and-her-children/. For production inquiries regarding Mary Courage & Her Children, contact the author at [email protected]