THE STORY: The scene is Kelly's apartment in a rundown section of Cleveland, flanked by universities and now infiltrated by middle-class hippies. Kelly, a laid-back young artist who is finding it difficult to paint, ekes out a meager living helping his friend Clint make custom furniture. Also on hand are Clint's lover, Prandy, a free-spirited drop out who now works as a waitress; and Prandy's vulnerable and somewhat up-tight younger sister, Maura, who is half-heartedly completing college. The central action of the play involves the complicated and sometimes stormy interaction of these four highly individualistic protagonists, each of whom, in his or her own way, has rejected the conventions of traditional middle-class life. The crisis of the play comes when Prandy announces that she is pregnant and Clint, who had previously planned to take off for parts unknown, refuses to change his plans despite her condition. Prandy's embittered decision to have an abortion drives a wedge between her and her more conventional sister, a rift which is widened still further when Maura embarks on an affair with the much older (and disturbingly haphazard) Kelly. In the end, when Clint returns from his wanderings, a reconciliation of sorts is achieved among the four-impelled by the deep-seated affection and concern that they feel for each other, but also tempered by the hurt and anger which have tested, and yet perhaps deepened, their fated interdependence.Gallagher, Mary is the author of 'Little Bird', published 1998 under ISBN 9780822206729 and ISBN 0822206722.