Todd London, director of the Woolly Mammoth production of "Blood Moon," says he "couldn't sleep for two nights" after he first read the script. "I thought it was wonderful and horrible." The drama by Nicholas Kazan opens Wednesday in its first run outside New York City.

"The play is about rape and revenge," says Kazan, 39, the son of Elia Kazan. "I think that although only women are literally raped, almost everyone is psychologically raped. If our home life is not totally disastrous, we grow up with a sense of possibilities and enthusiasm which the cold, cruel world destroys."

"Blood Moon" is based on a true story, told to Kazan after he graduated from Swarthmore College. Explains Kazan, "It happened to a student there. And the details of the events which you see in the first act and much of what you see in the second were so horrifying they stayed with me . . . The end of the second act is what I realized."

Kazan says he is "not certain" if the play consciously carries a feminist message. "It's presumptuous of me or any man to try to write a play from a feminist point of view. But women are victimized much more in society; certainly they are victimized more sexually. The friends of mine who were feminist who saw the play said, 'It's really pretty good for a man.' "

"None of the violence takes place on stage," says London. "It's not sensational in that way. That's one of the things I like about it. The violence is suggested . . . It's actually very exciting," but, he warns, "It's definitely not for the queasy."

"Blood Moon" continues through Feb. 15.