This play has two characters, a waitress in her sixties and her guardian angel. It is about one of my favorite subjects, how many people of humble circumstances undervalue their contributions to the world.
|ELOISE||Waitress, early 60s|
|GLORIA||Eloise’s Heavenly Guardian|
Telephone alcove in department store
Living room in Eloise’s house
Note: The only set pieces or props are a bird cage, three shopping bags, and an umbrella. The rest is in the audience’s minds.
|[Scene opens on the rest area with telephones in a department store. Eloise enters carrying three shopping bags full of fruitcakes. She is searching for coins in her pocketbook and does not see the woman who has purposely gotten in her way. They collide.]|
|ELOISE:||Oh Lord. [Roll of thunder] Are you okay? I’m trying to carry so much; I didn’t see you.|
|GLORIA:||Oh, my, yes. I am permanently indestructible. I didn’t break any of thy presents, did I?|
|ELOISE:||Not unless these here are really stale fruitcakes.|
|GLORIA:||Thee certainly bought a generous supply.|
|ELOISE:||Ten at $35 each, $350 worth. [Puts coin in phone]|
|GLORIA:||Thee used a large portion of money for a waitress.|
|ELOISE:||Nickels. I save all my nickels for a year and buy as many– [stops dialing] How did you know I was a waitress?|
|GLORIA:||It may have been thy dress.|
|ELOISE:||Covered by a coat? Pretty clever, Sherlock.
[She now notices Gloria’s garb, a long, pale, grey dress with a large, plain, white collar. Her feet are clad in boots; her hair is neatly wound behind her head. She wears absolutely no jewelry or makeup.]
Are you a nun?
|GLORIA:||No. Thee notices my dress.|
|ELOISE:||Oh, I know! You’re here to sing Christmas carols with some group.|
|GLORIA:||No, Eloise. I am here to see thee.|
|ELOISE:||Wait a minute. [pinching self] How did you know my name? How did you know I’m a waitress? [Remembers phone; hangs it up] Who are you?|
|GLORIA:||I am thy Heavenly Guardian. Thee may call me Gloria.|
|ELOISE:||Heavenly Guardian. Oh, sure; I should have known. Well, it’s been great uh—bumping into you. And thanks for all the protection. [Offers her hand in attempt at goodbye.]|
|GLORIA:||My full name is Gloria N. Excelsis. Isn’t that delightful? Of course it was not my earthly name.|
|ELOISE:||Your earthly name. Oh, no, it wouldn’t be your earthly name. I mean it doesn’t sound like one.|
|GLORIA:||On earth I was called—|
|ELOISE:||Never mind, never mind. I have trouble enough remembering one name per each person. Two is definitely over my head. [Offers hand] It’s been delightful, Ms. Excell.|
This play has only been done by mature actors, but I imagine it might be a good exercise and source of discussion for two teenaged actresses. It is part of my long-standing effort to write good parts for women; by “good” I don’t mean moral people, but interesting parts with developed characters who talk about something besides romances.