The Drowned Rivers

The Drowned Rivers follows the troubled Rivers family through four generations over three parts, set in 1956, 1996 and 2016 respectively.

The Girl on the River is set in 1956 and follows Sylvia as her parents struggle to keep their house that they’ve built on the riverbed. They attempt to marry her off to a rich suitor around her age, but she runs away from home with a boy from her town to escape it. However, she is brought back in shame when the boy abandons her and her mother dresses her down so much that she is forced to accept marriage, and her fate.

The Boy on the River is set in 1996 and follows the three troubled children of that marriage: Victoria, Az and Jordan. They are very disconnected from each other and from their parents, to the point that Az comes back to the house and finds that they have gone on vacation and left the teenage Jordan there alone. Victoria returns to the house, and after a possible suicide attempt from Jordan, they decide that their family is irreconcilable and they part ways.

At Rivers’ End is set in 2016 and follows Sylvia and Jordan after Sylvia’s husband, and Jordan’s father, dies. Sylvia’s granddaughter and Victoria’s daughter Olivia has come to look after Sylvia without anybody knowing, when Jordan arrives to take her away to a rest home. However, Sylvia angrily refuses to leave the house that she has given up so much of her life for, and only relent when Olivia shows genuine kindness and love towards her. However, that is shown to be fake when she sets fire to the house, intending to take her own life with it and Jordan saves her from her death.

At the end of the play, the family are free from their obligations and are finally allowed to exist as a family who can love each other.