Arizona tells the story of the affection between a young cavalry man and a rancher's daughter. The young cavalryman is accused of theft, forced to resign, and then accused of murder. Sub-plots include indiscretions of a young wife married to an older cavalry officer, a cavalry officer who will not support his illegitimate child, and the love between a vaquero and the daughter of a German cavalry sergeant.
The play opened in Chicago at Hamlin's Grand Opera House on June 12, 1899. With a cast lead by Theodore Roberts, sets and costumes designed by Frederic Remington, and authentic characterization of the soldiers and citizens of Arizona Territory, it was received enthusiastically by the audience. The Chicago opening also featured a young Lionel Barrymore in a minor role as Lieutenant Young of the Eleventh Cavalry.
Place: Aravaipa Ranch, in the Aravaipa Valley near Fort Grant, Arizona.Act I Evening, the interior of the adobe courtyard of Canby's ranch house. Act II Midnight, drawing-room of Colonel Bonham's quarters at Fort Grant.Act III Two months later, dining room at Aravaipa Ranch.Act IV Twenty minutes later, the interior of the adobe courtyard of Canby's ranch house.