Character Descriptions


Maeve, a 27 year old female from a middle-class family, first became interested in her appearance primarily as a status symbol.  As a teenager she dressed "goth", but only because she loved the clothes and it helped her reputation as a trouble-maker.  Clothing was something that she liked because she could hide behind it.  It was like another skin that distracted her from her insecurities and body issues. 

She initially went to college in New York City to study chemistry and, although she was a good student and naturally talented in science, she became distracted by the art scene and the nightlife.  She worked for a brief period in a chemistry lab after college and then entered a fashion design program at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art school was more difficult for Maeve. She made a strong effort but the harsh critique of her work affected her more than she would openly admit. She again got sucked into destructive behavior and began spending less time in her studio. An illicit sexual affair with one of her teachers prompted her to leave Chicago and move to Twin Oaks. She saw it as a way out of the relationship and as a chance for her to reevaluate her career. 

The commune was good for Maeve in some ways.  Working with her hands was relaxing and doing carpentry made her feel close to her father, who owned a carpentry business.  She loved the countryside and the food.  But the people were not like she imagined – they seemed hypocritical – manipulative and even mean-spirited underneath their sweet and enlightened exterior.  She made a few good friends, but overall found it difficult to connect with people.  After a year at Twin Oaks, Maeve decided to move back to Chicago.

Maeve talking on the phone:
Maive Talking on Phone

Maeve getting ready for a night out on the town:


Marty is a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer. She went to college for literature but dropped out of school because she plagiarized part of her thesis. She moved back home with her dad, returned to her high-school job and continued to write at night.

Marty is oblivious of her appearance and wears clothes that do not fit correctly. "Comfort over fashion" is her motto, but it is really because of sheer laziness that she is unkempt. Marty is a bit of a hypochondriac and picks at herself constantly.

Marty's mother moved to Europe when she was nine and she's been with her dad and sister ever since. Her sister Kim is younger but is much more mature. She is married and has a child. Kim worries about Marty and her constant nagging eventually leads Marty to join Twin Oaks. Marty believes Twin Oaks will be a retreat where she will have all the time she needs to work on her writing. She is sorely disappointed when she realizes how demanding communal life is. After a year, Marty decides she can't handle the work load at Twin Oaks and moves to Philadelphia where she starts writing for a travel agency.

Marty Makes Coffee, (prior to joining Twin Oaks)

Special thanks to: Isis Aquarian, Source Family Archives for permission to use the Source Family video

Johanna was born into a family with an aristocratic background and grew up in a beautiful mansion in the Northwest German countryside. Johanna's father was a judge and mother the president of an organization for the conservation of heritage-protected buildings and parks. Johanna had all of her material needs met but the pressure to live up the family standards caused her great stress.

Johanna attended boarding school in Southern Germany. While her classmates were experimenting with sex and substances, Johanna was a "good girl". She focused on her studies, excelled at riding and playing the flute. She was also an active member of Amnesty International.

Johanna dreamt of being a countryside veterinarian or organic farmer, but because of familial pressures, she decided to study international law in Cambridge. After school she worked for a non-profit organization in Dusseldorf where she started dating Justus, a colleague at the law firm.
Justus was the opposite of Johanna, free-spirited, self-confident, charming and uncompormising. Johanna, scared of her feelings for Justus, broke off the relationship and escaped having to deal with the emotional consequences by moving to Twin Oaks.

Johanna hanging out at a campfire at Twin Oaks: