One-Act Play

Miss Peddy & Grace

A Play in One Act by William Fowkes

LENGTH: 25 minutes

CAST: 2F



PRODUCTIONS:

World Premiere - 18th Annual Black Box New Play Festival, Gallery Players, Brooklyn, NY, June 2015.

 

Pend Oreille Players' One Act Play Festival, Newport, WA, July 2015

 

AWARD

Semi-finalist, Drury University One-Act Playwriting Competition, 2015.

 

SYNOPSIS

Caroline Peddy—an experienced and dedicated caretaker of elderly loved ones—may soon be available for hire. Then again, her current charge, octogenarian Grace Butler, sees her in a different light and has a different scenario in mind.

 

SETTING: A bare stage with two separate playing areas. Stage right—an arm chair. Stage left—two kitchen chairs and a table, the latter set with 2 teapots, 2 teacups and a glass of water.

 

TIME: Now

 

CHARACTERS:

 

Caroline Peddy (age 50s) -- a formidable, take-charge woman.

 

Grace Butler (age 80s) -- a sweet, cunning woman.

 

 


AN EXCERPT

 

Miss Peddy sits in an armchair stage right. Grace sits on a kitchen chair stage left, about to enjoy a cup of tea. Both actors are in the dark. In sequence, as indicated, each actor’s side of the stage is lit up.

 

Lights up on Miss Peddy, who leans forward in her chair, as if responding to a question.

 

MISS PEDDY

(addressing the audience)

I’m not available right now, but I expect to be shortly. You’ll find me more than suitable. I’m well-trained, hard-working, and devoted to my patients.

(answering a question)

I’m from Canada—Prince Edward Island. We’re a most reliable race, you know! When you hire Miss Peddy, you know your parents will get the best possible care that money can buy.

(with great sincerity)

I become their friend. Their soul mate. My world revolves around them.

 

Cross fade to Grace.

 

GRACE

(addressing the audience)

You won’t mind if I help myself to a cup of tea, will you?

 

Grace pours herself a cup of tea.

 

GRACE

Jasmine pomegranate today.

 

Grace takes a sip.

 

GRACE

Delicious! I have quite the collection of teas. I even make some of my own concoctions with homegrown herbs. Oh, wait—excuse me a minute, will you? I have to take my pill.

 

Grace takes a pill with a big swallow of water. After a moment—cross fade to Miss Peddy.

 

MISS PEDDY

You can ask my patients’ relatives for references, of course, but I think it’s more important to ask the patients themselves. Or if they’re in no state to respond to such an inquiry, look at their condition. Consider their actions—they DO speak louder. For instance…

 

Miss Peddy checks herself, searching for something, and raises her arm to show off her bracelet.

 

MISS PEDDY

For instance—this! A charming piece, don’t you think?

(studying the bracelet)

I was proud to add it to my collection. Rose Manicotti was her name. Manicotti—that’s some sort of Italian food, isn’t it? A soulful woman. Catholic, you know—

(snidely)

I mean, she actually believed in the infallibility of the pope and all that nonsense. …

(apologetically)

Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend you if that’s your persuasion.

 

Cross fade to Grace. 

 

GRACE

That’s better! The doctor says it’s very important to take my pill every day at this time. One pill—no more; no less.  It’s a miracle drug, I tell you! Mummy and DaDa might still be here if we’d had these things back then. All pains and problems have been eradicated thanks to the marvels of modern medicine. Oh, that reminds me—excuse me a minute, will you? I have to take my pill.

 

Grace takes a pill with a big swallow of water. After a moment—cross fade to Miss Peddy’s area as Miss Peddy re-enters and takes her seat.

 

MISS PEDDY

Thank you.

(looking around)

What a handsome room! Nothing frilly here!

(all business)

I assume you’ve read my resume. … Yes, I took care of Rose Manicotti for several years. She was CATHOLIC, you know. A fine religion, that one! I used to take her to church every Saturday night. THAT’s how devoted I am. She taught me how to do the rosary. Gave me some lovely rosary beads, too—though I got rid of them after I… After she… Well, afterwards.

 

 

END OF EXCERPT