As a child, Matt Barnett was sexually abused for five years by his evangelical Christian father. Soon after his father’s sudden death, Matt leaves his Vermont home for a fresh start, and carves out a new life for himself overseas, working as an energy consultant. Now, more than two decades later, he returns after learning from his widowed younger brother, Luke, that their dementia-stricken mother is dying. A teacher, Luke is interested in Native American rights and lifeways, and he’s active in a campaign to stop the destruction of an ancient Abenaki burial ground by a gas pipeline project.

Matt has always believed his mother was complicit in the abuse – and as part his own healing process, he wants to learn the truth before it’s too late. But the conversation never happens: his mother dies soon after his arrival. Luke then reveals that he is fatally sick with cancer. He asks Matt to become guardian to his 16-year-old daughter, Enaj, after his death and to move back to Vermont to be with her. For Matt, that would mean living once again in the community of his traumatized childhood. His love, loyalty and resilience are tested as never before.

Reading, Outvisible Theatre, Detroit New Works Festival, Detroit, MI, 2018
Reading, The Depot for New Play Readings, Hampton, CT, 2018


Cast: 4
Roles by gender: 2 men, 2 women
Roles by race: 3 white, 1 race-neutral

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New Play Exchange

  • “Our readers loved The Growing Stone. Peter Snoad explores the generational impact of sexual abuse and death and mourning in this wrenching play about the possibility of redemption, forgiveness, and growth in stony soil.”

    Lucretia Anne Flammang, The Depot for New Play Readings