Complicated, Act I Scene 1

The play is set in Surrey, England. The set should be on wheels so it can be rolled on and off stage at various points in the play. The opening set should be two rooms. One is a reading room with various couches, chairs, and bookshelves. The other is a t.v. room, which is smaller than the reading room and consists of a couch, a couple of chairs, and a television on an entertainment center. The t.v. room should be darkened at this point, but the sisters should be in there with the music “Just a Girl” by No Doubt playing. There are interchangeable paintings on the wall of the reading room to be used as different rooms throughout the play. The walls should be white so that lighting can change the color for different scenes. The walls can be white for the opening scene. 

The scene opens with Mr. Goodman sitting on a chair reading a Surrey newspaper. Mrs. Goodman enters the room in excitement.

MRS. GOODMAN: Mr. Goodman! Where are our daughters?

MR. GOODMAN: Who else do you think is making all that noise in the next room?

Mrs. Goodman starts to go into the next room, but Mr. Goodman stops her.

MR. GOODMAN: No, don’t bother them. They’re having fun and getting along. Why spoil it?

MRS. GOODMAN: I wouldn’t be spoiling it! I’d be making it better! I have some great news I simply must tell them!

MR. GOODMAN: Before you tell your husband?

MRS. GOODMAN: Fine. If you must know, we have a new neighbor, Daniel Wallace, who is about Kate’s age, single, having a house warming party this Saturday…

MR. GOODMAN: Oh no! Don’t tell me this is another one of your pathetic attempts to marry off our daughters!

MRS. GOODMAN: So what if it is! I just want my daughters to be happy!

MR. GOODMAN: They are happy! Just happy and single. And if you really are committed to having five weddings before they’re thirty, you really should try setting them up with men of all financial statuses, not just aristocrats!

MRS. GOODMAN: I know, they can marry any man they want, but if they did marry a man of high status, it would solve all of our money troubles…


MRS. GOODMAN: The music is so loud, they can’t hear me! Look, Daniel is handsome and charming and-

MR. GOODMAN: and rich?

MRS. GOODMAN: Still a good catch for one our daughters! I don’t know how we have five daughters in their twenties and not one of them shows any sign of committing to a man!

MR. GOODMAN: From the sounds of it, Lacy and Angela are committed to about five men at a time!

MRS. GOODMAN: That’s not true! At least, that’s how I like to think of it. Hailey, Kate, and Jackie never talk about boys. They do like men, right?

MR. GOODMAN: Yes, dear.

MRS. GOODMAN: Well, Jackie talks a lot about feminism…

MR. GOODMAN: She wants equal rights, that’s all. And even if one of them was that way, why does it matter?

MRS. GOODMAN: If one of them was, then I’ve been trying to set them up with the wrong set of people!

MR. GOODMAN: Fair enough. If you want to interrupt their good time to talk about this subject, again, be my guest.

Mrs. Goodman gives him a defiant look and heads towards the t.v. room. Mr. Goodman shakes his head in a bemused way. As Mrs. Goodman enters the t.v. room, the reading room should darken and the t.v. room should be lit up. Kate, Jackie, Lacy, and Angela are all standing on the couch dancing to the music while Hailey sits and reads Pride and Prejudice. 

MRS. GOODMAN: Girls! Get off the couch! You’re going to break it!

JACKIE: Sorry Mum! We were just having some fun!

MRS. GOODMAN: Fun! You guys are not acting like ladies with class!

The girls roll their eyes and get off the couch. Angela turns off the music. Mrs. Goodman sees Hailey reading and snatches the book away from her.

MRS. GOODMAN: All you do is read, read, read! You really must stop that! Men don’t like women who are smarter than them!

Hailey silently disagrees.

LACY: What do you want, Mum?

MRS. GOODMAN: I’ve got good news, girls!

ANGELA: You’ve got laryngitis!

All the girls laugh, and Mrs. Goodman looks a little annoyed.

MRS. GOODMAN: We have a new neighbor! He just moved into the Clearwater Mansion three blocks down. His name is Daniel Wallace, and he is about Kate’s age, I think. He invited us to a housewarming party…

All of the girls groan.

KATE: Not another attempt to marry us off!

MRS. GOODMAN: What? You don’t want to get married?

HAILEY: Yes, but we want to fall in love at our own pace, not shown off at parties like goods at a market.

The other girls agree with Hailey.

MRS. GOODMAN: You’ll never fall in love if you don’t get yourself out there and try!

KATE: But what if this Daniel bloke isn’t a nice person?

MRS. GOODMAN: He invited all of his neighbors to this party, he sounds friendly enough.

JACKIE: Will there be alcohol at the party at least?

MRS. GOODMAN: I think so. Why?

JACKIE: What a relief! If this attempt doesn’t go well, at least we can drink and forget about it!

MRS. GOODMAN: Oh, what rubbish! Now come on, we have to-

ANGELA: Get dressed and go shopping for something that will make all the men fall madly in love with us.

LACY: We know the routine; we’ve been through this a million times!

Mrs. Goodman shakes her head and leaves the room. The girls reluctantly leave the room as well. The set should be rolled off for the next scene.



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