Act I Synopsis

Zodzetrick, an old "conjuror," tries to sell Monisha a Bag of Luck. Monisha's husband, Ned, and daughter, Treemonisha, intervene and scold Zodzetrick for profiting from the fears and superstitions of their neighbors. Remus tells Zodzetrick that his friend, Treemonisha, being the only educated person in the area, will someday rid the neighborhood of the conjurors' harmful influence.

As Zodzetrick leaves, a chorus of Corn-Huskers enters to begin work but, at Treemonisha's suggestion, pause for a ring dance (We're Goin' Around).

As her neighbors start husking the corn, Treemonisha notices that other girls are wearing wreaths made out of leaves and starts toward a tree to harvest leaves for a Wreath of her own. Monisha stops her, explaining that it is a Sacred Tree because that is where she found Treemonisha as a baby, and where Treemonisha played happily as a child. Treemonisha and the others are Surprised at the news, and Monisha elaborates on Treemonisha's Bringing Up. Treemonisha is moved by the story and, respecting Monisha's request, goes with Lucy into the woods to pick leaves from another tree.

The local preacher, Parson Alltalk, arrives to deliver a sermon filled with Good Advice. Lucy returns out of breath, telling her neighbors that during the sermon, Zodzetrick and his partner, Luddud, kidnapped Treemonisha and took her deep into the forest. Amid general Confusion, a group of men leave to rescue Treemonisha and Remus follows, taking a scarecrow to wear as a costume to scare the conjurors.