Beth has been violently beaten - to the point of brain damage - by her overly jealous husband, Jake. As the play begins, she is being cared for by her family. Her brother-in-law, Frankie soon arrives, trying to figure out if Beth survived Jake’s beating. Beth’s father, mistaking Frankie for a deer, shoots him in the leg, and then brings Frankie into their home to care for his injury. Meanwhile, Jake, convinced that he has killed his wife, is slipping into a downward spiral. His possessive and overprotective mother Lorraine, and his sister, Sally, care for him until he slips away from them, determined to see Beth, alive or dead, one last time. Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind examines what it means to be a family, and whether or not the family bond truly ties individuals together.
A Lie of the Mind guide sections