A Comedy in Two Acts Essay
A Comedy in Two Acts
A naive yet charming sixteen year old going out on her first date. She is the youngest of three sisters and was raised mainly by her traditional mother. She often finds herself caught between her mothers’ traditional views and her older sisters’ modernity and aggressiveness. She admires her sister Georgia the most for her individuality and sense of freedom. (Definition of Feminine – Gentle (easily handled) by Bernessa Wilson, co-worker; Timid (shy) by Pam Magel, co-worker; Weak (soft) by John Nowicki, co-worker. ) MARTHA – The matron of the house and mother of Olivia, Georgia, and Julia.
Her petite frame belies a strong and rugged personality. She is around forty years old and although she shows signs of age and weathering, she wears it with grace and a quiet self-assurance. Her husband passed away early and she has had to raise her daughters by herself on meager savings and odd jobs. Julia is her favorite daughter. (Definition of Feminine – Corsets by Craig Jensen, co-worker; Modest (not bold) by Johannes Laun, boss) TYRA – A close friend of Olivia. She is in her early thirties and although her occupation is not clear to us, it seems evident that she is some kind of model or works in television.
She has fashionably short hair and a very slim and long legged body. She has a beguiling charm about her and is not shy to use it on men in order to have her way. She views being feminine as an asset and uses it to her advantage. (Definition of Feminine – Cleavage by Dave Atkins, co-worker; High heels by Matt Tuttle, co-worker; Beauty by Danya Slozerek, co-worker) OLIVIA – The eldest of the three daughters and the most accomplished. She is in her early thirties and works as a senior executive in a bank. She is slim and pretty but has an air of manly seriousness about her and this makes her even sexier.
She is the archetypal modern independent woman and views femininity as a liability in her predominantly masculine world. She has learned how to be taken seriously without losing her sense of femininity. (Definition of Feminine – Elie Tahari’s shoes designed to let a woman’s true beauty shine through. Made in fine fabrics and leathers, Tahari shoes feature clean lines and tasteful embellishments. His designs are smart, sexy, and feminine) GEORGIA– The middle child in the family and somewhat boyish. She is similarly pretty like her two sisters but is less self-conscious about herself.
With strong traces of Audrey Hepburn, she embodies Ralph Lauren’s vision of a modern denim version of the traditional Gregory Peplum Jacket – modern, practical and rugged yet somewhat delicate and fanciful at the same time. (Definition of Feminine: – Ralph Lauren describes the Gregory Peplum Jacket as an inspiration, which lends a modern edge to the structured stretch denim jacket, defined by its shape, a feminine flared peplum and puffed sleeves. ) BEN – Julia’s date for the night. A shy and awkward sixteen year-old. ACT ONE: Before us is a modest two-story house. It is around 6pm in the afternoon and the sun is just about to set.
The ground floor of the house is divided into a sparsely decorated living room to the right and a dining room and kitchen to the left, separated by a swinging door. The front door opens to the right side of the living room while the back door opens to the left of the kitchen. The living room holds a practical yet smart looking leather couch big enough to seat four and matching wooden chairs around a low glass coffee table with a few magazines. A stairway behind the couch leads upstairs to a woman’s peach-walled bedroom. In the living room, Olivia is seated casually on the couch browsing through a copy of Vogue.
She is dressed in a blazer and a skirt and looks as if she has just come home from the office. Georgia is looking through some bills and writing down some notes on a notebook. She is wearing a slim fitted denim Peplum jacket and purple pajama pants. In the kitchen, Martha is quietly preparing food in a plain dress and apron. Upstairs Julia (in a red dress) is seated in front of an ornate ivory colored powder table with a large oval shaped mirror. She is sitting unnaturally straight with her chin up to the mirror looking in mild anxiety as Tyra (dressed in a white tank top and tight dark jeans) puts make up on her.
TYRA: There… that’s it! You’re all set baby girl. JULIA: (stands up and twirls around looking at herself in the mirror) TYRA: Damn I wish my ass still looked that good! JULIA: (blushes in embarrassment) What? Don’t you think it’s too much? Maybe I should… TYRA: (interrupts quickly) I’m just kidding dear, you look great and that’s how you’re supposed to look. Besides boys love older looking women. And I know that for a fact (winking at Julia). JULIA: (tentatively) Umm… maybe I should just wear my jeans and pink sweater. I don’t think we’re going anywhere that fancy anyway. TYRA: Hell no!
(defiantly) If that boy’s worth anything he’d better be taking you somewhere where they at least serve some Cabernet. And if he’s not planning to – well baby we’re sure as hell going to make him. JULIA: (exasperated) But I’m not even allowed to drink! GEORGIA: (calls from downstairs) Hey Julia come on lets see you! JULIA: (calls back) Coming! TYRA: All right, go on now (heading towards the door) Julia goes down the stairs followed by Tyra. Both Georgia and Olivia look up from their business and look admiringly at Julia. Julia walks down the stairs gingerly in new strappy heels and in a slightly skimpy maroon dress.
She looks beautiful but awkward as if her clothes are itching her. GEORGIA: (in admiration) Oh Julia! You just look absolutely lovely. OLIVIA: Wow nice work Tyra. Yeah Jules you look fantastic. You’re going to break some hearts tonight. JULIA: (unsure) Do you really think so? Don’t you think it’s a bit too much? Aunt Tyra picked out this dress from some Italian woman’s shop. I think it’s supposed to be for adults. TYRA: Darling please, I’m too young to be your aunt. And I bet there are going to be girls younger than you trying to dress like Paris Hilton with skirts ten times shorter than that. You have to show those boys what you got.
MARTHA: (Enters from the kitchen carrying a teapot. She looks at Julia in both shock and awe. ) Julia?! Oh my! Where on earth did you get that dress? Cover your chest young lady! OLIVIA: (guffawing in disbelief) Oh please mother! It’s called cleavage and it seems to be the most highly prized commodity a woman can posses these days. GEORGIA: (in a calm soothing voice) It’s alright mother that’s a very conservative dress by today’s standards. Besides I’m sure Julia here has the best reputation as a lady (smiles warmly at Julia). JULIA: (stuttering) Y…yes mother I promise to be at my utmost behavior tonight.
MARTHA: (loudly to Georgia) I don’t care what today’s standards are. If I followed today’s standards I’d be dressed in a bikini mowing the lawn. I know what’s right and proper for a lady and that dress does not look proper to me. (turns her attention to Julia and addresses her patiently) Oh my sweet innocent child, I just don’t want boys to get the wrong idea about you Julia, you’re such a sweet sweet girl and I don’t want you turning into a…(stops herself as she glances involuntarily at Tyra and Olivia). OLIVIA: (completing her mothers sentence)…into a successful empowered woman?
(says defiantly) The days of housewives are over mother. These days either a woman fends for herself or she gets stuck with three kids in a tiny one bedroom apartment while her husband elopes with some nineteen year old intern. MARTHA: (looks as if about to shout but then collects herself and says resignedly to Julia who looks at her pleadingly with puppy eyes) Well dear… at least just put a jacket on won’t you? So you don’t catch a cold? TYRA: (enjoying the tirade) Oh don’t worry I took care of that too. She won’t be catching any colds tonight. I already showed her how to put on a jacket.
(gives Julia a sly wink) JULIA: (looking puzzled) …a jacket? MARTHA: (looks threateningly at Tyra and starts to open her mouth) OLIVIA: (gives Tyra a look of warning) GEORGIA: (stands abruptly) Come mother! I’ll help you dinner. MARTHA: (takes a deep breath) No it’s alright it’s already done, let’s just all sit down and have some tea. TYRA: (smiling apologetically) Let’s! Anyways, so Julia why don’t you tell us a little about this boy toy of yours. What car does he drive? I for one would never go out with a guy who drives anything less than a BMW. MARTHA: (surprised) Driving?! Oh I’m sure he’s too young to drive.
And where will you be going anyway? JULIA: Well his dad usually drops him at school everyday so I don’t think he drives yet. But I think we’ll just be walking tonight mother, we’re only going to the plaza down the block for a burger. TYRA: The plaza? For a burger? Baby with you looking like that it ought to be a damn expensive burger. Well the least he can do is bring us home some of apple pie and chocolates. And if he gives you anything less than half a dozen roses… MARTHA: (interrupts Tyra) Well if he does bring a car I don’t want you to spending any time in there you here me?
You just finish your dinner and you order him to take you back home you understand? GEORGIA: (laughing) Mother please! Let the young lady enjoy a night out. JULIA: (in eager agreement to Martha) Yes mother, I promise I won’t even hold his hand, we’re only friends that’s all. Besides Ben is a nice boy, all the teachers like him MARTHA: Oh I know all those tricks the boys use these days, they haven’t changed since your father. Sure he may have gotten me at first but I won in the end. OLIVIA: Mother please can we have one day of not mentioning dad? MARTHA: (ignoring Olivia) But men…boys these days, you just don’t know what to think of them…
OLIVIA: I’ll tell you what to think of them sis, they are absolutely useless. All they’re good for is making babies. All I need is a decent good-looking guy to get me pregnant and I can live peacefully. The doorbell rings and all the women stop and look at the door, then look at each other questioningly. JULIA: (nervously) That must be him! MARTHA: Alright girls behave yourselves. Julia, go upstairs and put on a jacket. JULIA: (looks at Georgia for help) GEORGIA: Just go put a jacket on honey, you can take it off later if it gets warm. JULIA: Ok mother. ACT TWO
The setting is in an old-fashioned diner where a few other young people are having burgers and fries. BEN: Boy you sure have one weird family…that’s a really nice dress. You look really uh…grown up. JULIA: Thanks Ben, my aunt Tyra got it for me. BEN: Well your aunt sure knows how to dress up. JULIA: I know, you sure couldn’t seem to keep you eyes off her. BEN: uhh…well (blushes) JULIA: I’m just kidding Ben, (brushes her hand against his hot cheek) BEN: (becomes flustered) JULIA: (enjoying the moment) So have you ever kissed a girl before? BEN: um…well (becomes even redder) JULIA: (coyly) Would you like to?
BEN: (looks at Julia in disbelief) uhhh… JULIA: But first you have to promise me something Ben. BEN: (quickly) Sure, I mean anything. JULIA: Promise you’ll take me to the movies next week? And we can have dinner in a nice restaurant. Somewhere with ca-ver-nay. (trying to say Cabernet). BEN: (tentatively) Yeah, yeah sure. JULIA: (excitedly) Great! And you can bring me a dozen roses for me to put in my room when you pick me up in a car. BEN: Uh… a car? Yeah sure. JULIA: (suddenly) Oh! And Ben! BEN: (starting to get scared) yes?… JULIA: The car that your dad drives… BEN: uh-huh JULIA: It’s a BMW right? Curtain Falls The End
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 September 2016
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