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WCAAA   The Wax Cradle
   Dramas,Play
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Author  Jo J. Adamson
Cast: 4 Men, 5 Women, 1 girl
Time: 1 1/2 Hours
Set: A few simple sets
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Synopsis
       Louisa May Alcott is best known as the author of Little Women. What is not so well know is that she lived a life quite apart from her main protagonist (and some say alter ego) Jo March. "The Wax Cradle" is a drama that reveals the complex relationship between Louisa and her father, Bronson. On the one hand, Louisa feels a deep love for the kindly scholar; on the other hand she feels resentment for his failure to adequately provide for his family.
       Louisa's life is fraught with poverty, hunger and cold. Louisa hates poverty more than anything and as a young girl she swears that some day she will provide for her sisters and mother. Louisa goes from a rebellious girl, to a seasoned (and somewhat cynical) spinster as she lives a life that is never completely free from want or pain.
       In 1862 she goes to Washington to serve as a Civil War nurse. While there she contracts typhoid fever. She is given calomel, a drug laden with mercury to cure her fever. She recovers from the typhoid but for the rest of her life suffers from the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning. Louisa regards her father as a failure as a provider and determines that she will do whatever she has to do to feed and clothe her family. She writes penny dreadfuls for money and eventually pens a book that becomes a Best Seller."
       Although happy for the income, she takes no pride in her novel that is inspired by her growing up in a family of girls. She regards her writing as "moral pap" for the young.
       As the years go by she becomes bitter and disenchanted. When her father suffers a stroke, she is by his side constantly. When Bronson dies, Louisa loses her will to live. She dies two days later at the age of fifty-six.