The Bad Seed
1 Plot 2 Production 3 Film adaptation 4 References 5 External links
The play focuses on the seemingly perfect little girl Rhoda Penmark,
who is able to charm her way into getting just about anything she
wants. Anything, except a highly coveted penmanship medal that her
teacher has awarded to Claude Daigle, one of Rhoda's classmates.
During a school outing near the shore, Claude goes missing and it is
soon discovered that Claude has drowned near a pier. Rhoda's mother,
Christine, begins to suspect that Rhoda had something to do with the
boy's death when she finds Claude's penmanship medal hidden in Rhoda's
room. Gradually Christine comes to believe that Rhoda was behind other
sudden deaths surrounding the family.
Her suspicions challenge Christine to look into her own past, and she
learns not only that she was adopted, but also that her biological
mother was a ruthless serial killer. Near the end of the play,
Christine decides to take both Rhoda's life and her own. She gives
Rhoda a large quantity of sleeping pills, telling her they are
vitamins. Then she shoots herself in the head, killing herself. Rhoda
survives because the sound of the gunshot has alerted her neighbors to
investigate and they find Rhoda just in time to save her.
Staged by Reginald Denham, the play opened on Broadway on December 8,
1954, at the
46th Street Theatre
^ Database (undated). "The Bad Seed". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved August 31, 2013. ^ Life. December 1, 1954. ^ Fischer, Heinz-Dietrich; Fischer, Erika J. (2008). The Pulitzer Prize Archive – A History and Anthology of Award-Winning Materials in Journalism, Letters, and Arts. Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag; ISBN 978-3-598-30170-4. pg. 246.
The Bad Seed