THE STORY (Spoilers)


The Diviners is a play by Jim Leonard, Jr. It takes place in the fictional town of Zion, Indiana during the 1930s/Great Depression era. 

The play begins and ends with elegies spoken by two of the townspeople describing what happened the day of Buddy's tragedy. The body of the play is the memory of the time leading to the climactic event.

Buddy is searching (divining) for water for local farmer, Basil. Luella, Basil's wife, refuses to believe that the boy can find water.Set in the early days of the Depression in a small southern Indiana town named Zion, Buddy Layman is a mentally-challenged boy whose sweet nature touches most people he meets.


One day a stranger named C.C. Showers passes through Zion looking for work and food. C.C. takes an immediate liking to Buddy and vice versa. C.C. is able to relate to Buddy in ways that most people aren't. The two become close friends and C.C. soon finds himself as Buddy's mentor and teacher. Jennie Mae is attracted to C.C., and though he likes her,


Jennie Mae isn't the only single girl near Zion that finds C.C. a catch of a man. The town’s dry goods owner has her eye set on bringing old fashioned revival to the community. The local diner owner would love to see the church rebuilt – and all the Sunday customers it would bring to her establishment.


CC’s relationship with the people of the town changes drastically when they learned that he was a former preacher who has given up preaching. That knowledge changes everything and leads to a horrible tragedy.


A “slice of life” play, “The Diviners”, takes the viewers intimately close to the main characters.


Read the play HERE.



Cast List and Stage Age


  • BUDDY LAYMAN: Teen male. The town's idiot-savant.
  • JENNIE-MAE LAYMAN: teenager to 20ish, female. Buddy's sister.
  • FERRIS LAYMAN: 35-55, male. Buddy and Jennie-Mae's father.
  • C.C. SHOWERS:Male, 25-40.  He is a backsliding preacher from Kentucky who drifts into town looking for work. 
  • NORMA HENSHAW: 40s-60s (flexible), female.  Owner of the Hoosier Dry-Goods.  A true believer.
  • DARLENE HENSHAW: teen-20, female.  Norma's niece. Young and flirtacious. 
  • GOLDIE SHORT: 40s-60s (flexible), female. Owner of the Dine-Away-Café. A woman of principles.
  • BASIL BENNETT: 35-55 (flexible), male. A farmer and the local doctor-of-sorts.
  • LUELLA BENNETT: 30-55 (flexible), female. Basil's wife and a doubter of almost everything.
  • MELVIN WILDER: late teens to mid 20s, male.  A farm hand.
  • DEWEY MAPLES: teens to early 20s, male.  A farm hand.  Wide-eyed and unfocused.