Written by N. Richard Nash
Directed by Gregg Vogelsmeier
Stage Managers: Logan Chidester and Ariel Savannah Reid
As a paralyzing drought besets America's rural West during the Great Depression, the Curry family is starting to despair. Their cattle are dying from the dry heat, the future of the ranch is in question, and even worse, the marriage prospects for Lizzie -- the only woman in a family of menfolk -- are running low. Her brothers Noah and Jim try every possible scheme to marry her off, without success, and her father H.C. worries about her potential future as an old maid. A plain girl with dreams of romance but very little self-esteem, Lizzie has just about given up hope of finding love and escape.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, appears Bill Starbuck, a charming, confident, sweet-talking man with quite the sales pitch. A self-proclaimed "Rainmaker," he promises to end the drought and bring rain to save the Curry family's farm, in exchange for the princely sum of $100. He is immediately regarded by Lizzie as a con man and a trickster, but he is so refreshing and persistent that H.C. finally consents, giving him the last of the family's savings. The brothers are also eventually persuaded by the man's grandiose notions and unlikely claims, and are soon banging on big brass drums to rattle the sky and shake the clouds loose.
What no one expects -- including the Rainmaker himself -- is that what he truly brings is much more than just the rain. He gradually awakens a newfound sense of self-confidence in Lizzie, and persuades her that she has a very real beauty of her own, moving her to see herself in a new light. She begins to believe in herself, and in the promise of rain that will nourish not only the land, but her family as well. And, in the end, rain does come... and so does love.
Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Lizzie Curry - A plain young woman who lacks confidence and does not think she is pretty. Dutiful and hardworking, she acts more like the "mother" of the family than the daughter or sister. Headstrong, skeptical, and suspicious of others, and especially uncomfortable around men (besides her father and brothers). The sole female character of the play.
Bill Starbuck - A charismatic sweet-talker with a large personality, a fun spirit, and an ability to make others believe in themselves. He is almost too obviously a con artist, but over time it becomes clear that he is much more than that: a drifter, a gentle dreamer, a giver of hope.
H.C. Curry - A loving father to Lizzie and her brothers. He is a good man with a dream in him, so much so that he is willing to take a gamble on something that represents at least a glimmer of hope. Easy-going.
Noah Curry - Lizzie's hard-bitten, realist older brother. Level-headed and logical, he can sometimes be harsh on his brother and sister even though he has good intentions. He generally has a pessimistic outlook on life and is suspicious of others. He is a self-righteous man and rigidly opinionated.
Jim Curry - Lizzie's flighty younger brother. Simple-minded and innocent, viewing life through rose-colored glasses, he is a romantic at heart and sees the best in others. Strong and broad-shouldered, making him look older than he is, until he opens his mouth and proves that he is a child at heart.
File - A local town deputy who is set up by the Curry boys to see if any sparks fly between him and Lizzie. A good-natured man looking for company, but who has been heartbroken because of the way his marriage ended, and may even be a bit bitter. He is a man of routine and likes it that way.
Sheriff Thomas - File's boss and good friend. He follows the law and is a good and fair man, but is not trapped by his work. A humorous man full of joy and encouragement. His character adds comic relief to the play. A small but fun role.