At midpoint by the end of act 1, The Maiden's Prayer appears to be moving in one direction.
The above statement about The Maiden's Prayer being at midpoint is misleading, for there is a scene before the act ends that though brief is typical of Silver's dramaturgy.
Four of the characters in The Maiden's Prayer are recognizable characters not because they feel rejected, though Libby and Taylor do, and not because they deny, though Cynthia and Paul do.
Prior to The Maiden's Prayer, character after character narrates variations on a tale of emotional damage done to him or her by a dysfunctional family.
The Maiden's Prayer changes the frame of reference, and I think the change can be attributed to the influence of Chekhov's theatre, the universe of which is irrational and the frame of reference of which is more spiritual than psychological.
Despite all the differences between the two plays, two exchanges mark the similarity between the universe of The Maiden's Prayer and that of The Three Sisters and the shift from the psychological frame of reference in Silver's earlier plays to the spiritual frame of reference.
I am nor arguing that The Maiden's Prayer is a great play.
The Altruists (2000) demonstrates that Silver can write a play in the new style of The Maiden's Prayer without forfeiting the claim to his theatre's territory--dependence on alcohol and drugs, sex and love for one's sense of well-being--or sacrificing the hairpin turns that harrow that field.
In the three areas that this study has singled out, The Altruists continues the breakthrough effects of The Maiden's Prayer.