Refuge | ‘Helping Hands’ By John Thornton



4 ballerina MARIONETTES – different ages and races - stand

poised, off stage. The rear one, TU, readies herself.


The curtain rises.


One by one the first 3 twinkle-toed dancers skip on stage.


Raising her hands, Tu starts to tip-toe towards stage.


Her strings are tugged, stopping her in her tracks.


She tries again. Her strings are forcibly pulled, dragging

her back, away from the edge of the stage.


Poison ivy spreads down her strings, over her wrists…


As Tu struggles and strains the ivy starts knotting.



Domestic violence destroys the

lives of 1 in 4 women.


Black tar crawls up her feet, Tu can barely move. A vine

slithers across her mouth.


Across the stage, behind the curtain at the otherside, a

string puppet HORSE (female/genderless) spots Tu.


Their desperate eyes lock. The horse motions for Tu to

pull, straining on it’s strings.


NARRATOR (cont’d)

Refuge is there to support a

woman. Every step of the way.


Tu rips one foot free from the tar. Then the other. The

horse swings it’s head and neck, urging another pull.


Straining, Tu pulls one hand to the other. She unties the

ivy from her arms and rips it off her face.


Tu slowly steps towards the stage, the ivy withering.

The horse rears up as Tu leaps onstage, the ivy falls away

from her strings.



Rebuilding lives; creating new



Tu glides through the air, her hand out to her dancers -

one of their hands mirrors the Refuge logo.