The action takes place in
a loft in downtown Los Angeles, the home of the Glendennings as well as
the office of Grapevine Public Relations.
The time is 1988. It is Spring.
Scene 1: Late morning.
Scene 2: Two weeks
Scene 1: Six weeks
later, late morning.
Scene 2: One month
later, late morning.
Scene 3: Six weeks
In 1630, three men
whose families had been persecuted for witchcraft in England emigrated
to the North American colonies. These men and their descendants had repeated
problems with the law in the colonies, and several family members were
tried and executed for witchcraft. One of the original three men settled
in East Hampton, Long Island, New York. His descendants, the Mulford family,
were locally notorious for being afflicted with a strange and frightening
As a boy, George Huntington
had the opportunity to visit patients with his father and grandfather,
both of whom were general practitioners in East Hampton. Huntington was
fascinated by the odd disease afflicting the Mulfords. In 1872, soon after
graduation from medical school, he wrote his first and only paper, "On
Chorea," which described the illness that now bears his name.
In his paper, Huntington
described all of the salient features of the disease: its onset at middle
age, its motor, cognitive and behavioral symptoms, and its progressive,
ultimately fatal course . . .
In the United States and
most Western countries, between four and ten individuals per 100,000 [have
Huntington’s]. The disease is somewhat less common in Asia . . . Most cases
in the United States can be traced to the three original settlers who arrive
. . . All persons who carry
the Huntington’s gene will ultimately develop the disease, assuming that
they live long enough. Each child of a person carrying the gene has a 50
percent chance of inheriting the disorder. Since Huntington’s does not
skip generations, a person who does not ultimately develop the disease
cannot pass it on.
Jonathan T. Stewart, M.D.
University of Florida
College of Medicine
Note: medical science has
developed a test to identify a "marker" indicating the presence of the
Huntington’s gene; however, the gene itself has not been located.
Read the Drama-Logue