Ensler tells the story of two American women, a Park Avenue psychiatrist and a human rights worker, who go to Bosnia to “help” women confront their memories of war and emerge deeply changed themselves. Necessary Targets is a groundbreaking play about women and war—about the violence of dark memories and the enduring resilience of the human spirit.
Melissa, an ambitious young writer, and J.S., a successful but unsatisfied middle-aged psychiatrist, have nothing in common beyond the methods they have been taught to distance themselves from other people. As J.S. begins to feel compassion for the women whose tragedies she has been sent to expose, she turns on Melissa, who finds safety in control. In an unexpected moment of revelation, J.S. and the women she is supposedly treating find a common ground, a place to be taught and a place to learn.