New Plays: Gut Theater

"I want my audience to feel rather than think," said Playwright Megan Terry about her Viet Rock, which ran for 62 Manhattan performances in 1966. Obviously, she has not changed her mind. The People vs. Ranchman, which opened off-Broadway last week, is equally devoid of intellectual content. Paradoxically, though, it is likely to leave a mature playgoer doing more thinking than feeling.

Not, however, thinking about the subject of the play, which is a simplistic attack on American blood lust. Ranchman, played with great simian gusto by William Devane, is an accused rapist...