Act 1, Scene 1
* The Shrike begins in the psychiatric ward of the hospital, where the staff and patients are establishing the restrictive nature of care.
* Jim Downs is brought in on a gurney by his wife, Ann, after attempting to take his own life.
* The doctors try to learn as much as possible about Jim's life, although Ann is not much help since the two are separated.
Act 1, Scene 2
* Ann stays with Jim until he regains consciousness.
* The doctors find out that Jim worked on Broadway as a director and that his age has caused his career to decline, which may be a part of his depression.
* In a telling moment, Jim reveals that he no longer wants to live and he does not want Ann's love.
Act 1, Scene 3
* Two days after being brought into the hospital, Jim is feeling better, and prepares to leave.
* Ann tells Jim about...
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