This is the play in three parts. See performances scene by scene here

During the siege of Paris, the citzens were starving but still fought heroically against the German invaders. When the French government capitulated , for fear that the Germans would destry their precious property, the working people decided to occupy their own city and form the Commune. Now For the first time Paris has a truly progressive goverment.

Paris is in the hands of the people. It is an exciting time, when it seems that really change is coming. As one of the workers puts it, "This will be the first night in the history of Paris, when there will be no murder, no cheating, no attacks on women. This is the first time it is safe to walk the streets. We don't need the police. The bankers, swindlers, tax collectors, factory owners, priests, prostitutes, and politicians have all run off to Versailles. At long last, Paris is a fit place to live in."

In Versailles the government spreads propaganda against the Commune. They amass an army of peasants to attack Paris. The Communards must decide what to do. Should they fight back or should their stay true to their stand against militarism? If they open their arms to the soldiers and say, " join us, you are workers as we are" ,what will the soldiers do?