About

The Ungrateful Wife centers on a therapy session between a woman, mysteriously called Vie, and Dr. Cathy Jester. The therapist is an ordinary person, interested in expanding her budding business. Upon the recommendation of a colleague at her previous job, a certain Mr. Gwen, the therapist agrees to see his wife, a woman clearly troubled and openly hostile to idea that she might need any psychological help. Mr. Gwen appears like a benevolent, generous man who’s only concerned about his wife’s welfare and ready to help the therapist with money and client recommendations. But as the therapist begins to lose her temper in the face of an uncooperative patient, Vie unveils a shocking tale of another world, a repressed society where she had once held a position of great power and political clout, and lost all of it when her parents were arrested for treason. We soon discover that Mr. Gwen was the executioner of her parents’ fates, and that he has brought Vie to America as a prisoner, together with her children. Her obedience to his every command is the price she pays for his promise to keep her parents alive in prison in their abandoned homeland. As Vie reveals more details about the tortures she endures, it is the therapist, Dr. Jester, who becomes unraveled and unable to offer the professional help required from her.

Characters

Woman – calls herself Vie, an immigrant from a repressive society who lives in America with an abusive husband.
Therapist – Dr. Cathy Jester, recently started her own clinic with the help of Mr. Gwen, Vie’s abusive husband.
Husband – called Mr. Gwen, a wealthy, powerful immigrant from a repressive society who has imprisoned Vie and her two children in his home.

Notes

The repressive society in this play is modeled on Russia and China, in particular under the Soviet Regime, and Cultural Revolution, respectively. The play can also be representative of any regime, which abuses human rights and where women are denied access to power and education, and fear being sold into slavery.
The play is a one-act with scenes that merge into each other and are to be performed uninterrupted, with the therapist and husband exchanging the central therapeutic chair.