Death and the Maiden



Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Time & Place
present (1991), a former dictatorship country
Cast Size
Ideal for
college/university theatre, community theatre, regional theatre, professional theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult characters


Set in a country that is transitioning to democracy, Death and the Maiden explores how -- and if -- a nation can start to heal its wounds after years of living in a dictatorship regime. Gerardo and Paulina are married, and have finally started to relax after years of living in fear. Gerardo, a lawyer, has just accepted a post as the head of a citizenship committee that will investigate the past crimes of the dictatorship. Unfortunately, the committee will not be able to publicly name the criminals, and no one will be prosecuted, as a result. Gerardo feels that the committee will be a way for the country to peacefully transition to the new government, but his wife Paulina has other ideas of justice. Paulina is traumatized by her past: she was kidnapped, tortured, and raped by members of the former regime. When a stranger visits their home at Gerardo’s request, Paulina recognizes his voice as one of her torturers -- she had nicknamed him “the Doctor”. Determined to administer justice for herself, she takes matters into her own hands and makes sure he pays for his former sins. Is this stranger, however, really the “Doctor”, or simply an innocent citizen? Death and the Maiden is a political and moral thriller that examines the psychological aftereffects of human rights abuses.

Lead Characters

Death and the Maiden guide sections