Hopeful, hard-working Mae lives in bleak rural poverty, but she is going to school, and plans to better her life through the refined magic of reading and arithmetic. Lloyd, who lives with Mae, spends his time caring a little too much for the farm animals; he scorns to learn from a book, and treats Mae with angry disrespect. When Lloyd becomes ill, Mae goes searching for a diagnosis, and brings their simple, yet eloquent, neighbor Henry home with her, in order to help her read the difficult medical language. The ensuing love / hate triangle that brews between the three creates a toxic environment, and Mae, whose love and respect for Henry turn to impatience and resentment after an accident renders him helpless, determines that to escape the ill-luck of her life, she must escape the men who depend upon her. In Mud, Maria Irene Fornes has created a stark and uncompromising drama, in which self-improvement is a wistful, far-off goal, and the bleak nature of everyday life is impossible to escape, in the end.
Production note: Mud is written as a two-act play -- however, it is very short, and often combined with another short play or one-act for an evening of theatre.