History and morality collide in Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat. Set in New York City the day after the September 11 attacks, the two-character play finds couple Ben and Abby suddenly caught at a moral crossroads. Ben, who is married and has children, has been having an affair with Abby, his boss. With their office housed at the World Trade Center, Ben seizes on the September 11 attack as an opportunity to disappear with Abby and start a new life together, leaving everyone to assume that he was killed in the attack. What follows is a psychological crucible in which morality and human foibles are confronted with brutal honesty.
The Mercy Seat guide sections