The early 1970’s in the U.S. was a time of national unrest. The Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal caused American youth to question authority and assert their generational autonomy. Race riots erupted in cities all over the country as whites and African Americans grappled with the challenge to fulfill the promise of the Civil Rights Act. In this political setting, Patricia Campbell Hearst, a newspaper heiress, was kidnapped from her apartment in 1974 by a group of radical revolutionaries known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was held captive for over a year, crisscrossing the country with them. At one point, she entered the Hibernia Bank with a rifle during a hold up. She was eventually captured and put on trial for the bank robbery.
The question of whether Patti was brainwashed, suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, or had converted to the cause is the subject of conjecture, still never fully resolved. My spark to write this play emerged from Caitlin Flanagan’s Girl Land which described young women’s reaction and fascination with this kidnapping and the jury’s perception of Patti Hearst.
While I have based much of the dialogue upon official court transcripts and other archives, I have created fictional characters and events throughout. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
PATRICIA LAWLER KENET
Patricia studied playwriting at the Barrow Group NYC, television writing at Jacob Krueger Studios, storytelling at the Magnet Theatre, and comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade where she was a Diversity Fellow in 2016. Her play “Ten-Minute Warning” was selected by the Aloha Original Playwriting Festival in 2018. Her humor writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, The New York Times and Salon.com . She will appear as “Deb” in the feature film “CRSHD” (2019) directed by Emily Cohn. She is a graduate of New York University and Temple Law School.
Special thanks to Gene Fisch for his faith in this, Kristen for her vision, the cast for their dedication and craft, and Barney J. Kenet, for his support and love.