by: Alice Gerstenberg

NOTE: This play was originally published in Ten One-Act Plays. Alice Gerstenberg. New York: Brentano's, 1921. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.


A stage.

[Two characters, HE and SHE, are dressed absurdly in the most vivid colors suggestive of the riot of cubist pictures. Their faces are painted in cubes ans squares, etc., in colors, crimson, purple, green, etc...

The scene is before the curtain of a stage. If it parts in the center the characters make a whirlwind entrance that way and use the curtain as a background to silhouette them.

The characters whirl in.]

HE: [Flirtatiously.] Well?

SHE: [Flirtatiously.] Well?

HE: Who?

SHE: Guess.

HE: Impossible!

SHE: Try.

HE: Then?

SHE: Answer!

HE: What?

SHE: Truth.

HE: Again?

SHE: Stop!

HE: Here?

SHE: No.

HE: There?

SHE: No!

HE: Answer!

SHE: No!

HE: [In despair.] Whereupon--

SHE: [In tears.] Never--

HE: Indeed?

SHE: Gone--

HE: Valued--

SHE: Much--

HE: How--

SHE: Very--

HE: Terrible!

SHE: Nevertheless--

HE: [Angrily.] Impudence!

SHE: [Resentfully.] Go!

HE: Yes--

SHE: [Pleading.] Come--

HE: Why--

SHE: Why not?

HE: But if--

SHE: It might--

HE: Could it--

SHE: Do you?

HE: For life--

SHE: Forever--

HE: Although I--

SHE: Whereas you--

HE: Because she--

SHE: You care--

HE: Whether you--

SHE: Or I--

HE: Either one--

SHE: [In horror.] Moreover--

HE: [In doubt.] was it so?

SHE: You doubt?

HE: Proof?

SHE: There it is-- [Points out front.]

HE: Where is it?

SHE: Are words nothing?

HE: Everything!

SHE: [Dramatically.] Enough!

HE: Quite but--

SHE: But what?

HE: Where is it?

SHE: Look!

HE: [In agony.] I cannot--

SHE: You will not--

HE: Curses--

SHE: How dare you?

HE: I denounce--

SHE: Leave me!

HE: Not before--

SHE: At once!

HE: Answer me!

SHE: I won't!

HE: You will!

SHE: [Inspirationally.] Sunrise--

HE: You've said it--

SHE: Said what?

HE: The truth--

SHE: [Great and loud emotion.] Words, words, words!

HE: I'll not let--

SHE: [Terrific grief.] Electric bulbs--

HE: [Sternly.] That ends it!

SHE: Quite mad!

HE: Fool.

SHE: Coward!

HE: Come--

SHE: No--

HE: Don't resist--

SHE: The law!

HE: A star--

SHE: You?

HE: I!

SHE: I didn't know--

HE: Of course not--

SHE: I don't believe it!

HE: Imprisoned!

SHE: You wouldn't--

HE: [Flings her across stage.] Inevitable!

SHE: I implore you.

HE: Without doubt--

SHE: Forgive--

HE: Too late--

SHE: Love?

HE: Love?

SHE: Love, love, love!

HE: [Rapturously.] Love!

She: [Cautiously.] The ring--

HE: They're coming--

SHE: Hide me--

HE: You must pay--

SHE: The letter?

HE: Which one?

SHE: His to you--

HE: Ah that!

SHE: Out with it--

HE: You read it?

SHE: Never!

HE: Give it to me--

SHE: No--

HE: Command!

SHE: Now your answer--

HE: Revenge!

SHE: You dare--

HE: My promise--

SHE: [Passionately.] On your knees--

HE: Vampire--

SHE: You beg--

HE: No--

SHE: Yes--

HE: No!

SHE: Yes!

HE: [Struggling with her.] No!

SHE: [Struggling with him.] Yes!

HE: No!

SHE: Yes!

HE: No!

SHE: [Looking wildly for something to overpower him.] Crimson, blue--

HE: [Feeling his ears hurt by the mention of the colors.] Oh!

SHE: [Pouncing upon other colors.] Violet! Purple!

HE: [Getting weaker and weaker.] Hush!

SHE: [Raging.] Orange, yellow!

HE: [Finding it unbearable.] Stop! Stop!

SHE: [Climax yell.] MAGENTA!

HE: [Overcome.] Oh, my head!

[They both disappear wildly behind the curtains.]


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