Complicated, Act I Scene 2

The stage should be empty except for a couple of chairs and a couple of tables with hors d’oeuvres and the party guests, who are wearing upscale clothing. There is music playing and people are dancing. A butler stands at the beginning of the room. Mr. and Mrs. Goodman arrive with their daughters.

MR. GOODMAN: (to Mrs. Goodman) If this is just one of your attempts, then why do I need to go?

Mrs. Goodman gives him an annoyed look but says nothing.

BUTLER: Good evening! There are two rooms of the party. The young people are here and the adults’ party is down the hall. Mister Wallace will periodically attend each one.

Mr. Goodman pulls the butler aside.

MR. GOODMAN: (whispers) I’ll pay you twenty pounds to keep my wife out of the young people’s party.

The butler discretely takes the money.

BUTLER: Yes sir!

MRS. GOODMAN: What? What did you just tell him?

MR. GOODMAN: Come on, darling.

Mr. Goodman takes her arm.

MR. GOODMAN: Have a good time, girls!

ALL FIVE GIRLS: Thanks Dad!

Mr. Goodman escorts Mrs. Goodman to the other party.

MRS. GOODMAN: (offstage) Wait! I want to go to the other party and see how it goes!

Once their parents are gone, the girls disperse. Lacy and Angela immediately find a group of boys to flirt with. Hailey sits down and takes out a book. Kate and Angela go to the food table to greet Jackie’s friend, Gwendolyn.

JACKIE: Hello Gwendolyn!

GWENDOLYN: Oh, hi there! So glad you guys came! Erm, what is your sister doing?

Gwendolyn points to Hailey, and Kate and Jackie shake their heads. The three walk over to Hailey.

KATE: Come on, Hailey! Have some fun!

HAILEY: I am having fun!

Jackie snatches her book away.

JACKIE: I’m not like Mum, I do believe in the importance of reading, but sometimes you need to stop reading about life and start living it!

Hailey takes back her book.

HAILEY: I’m fine, thanks.

Daniel passes by and sees the conversation. He intervenes.

DANIEL: Don’t worry, ladies, I know what to do! (to Hailey) If you dance for an hour, I’ll let you stay in my library for the rest of the party.

HAILEY: Deal!

Hailey leaves her book on the chair and goes to the dance floor. Her movements are awkward but no one minds.

GWENDOLYN: (to Daniel) So, you must be our party host.

DANIEL: Sorry for not properly introducing myself. I’m Daniel Wallace. May I have the pleasure of knowing you three ladies’ name?

GWENDOLYN: I’m Gwendolyn.

They shake hands.

JACKIE: I’m Jacqueline, but you can call me Jackie.

They shake hands.

KATE: (blushing slightly) I’m Katherine, but please call me Kate.

Daniel looks at her as if he is seeing her for the first time. He recovers his charisma quickly.

DANIEL: Such a pleasure!

Jackie and Gwendolyn smile knowingly at each other.

JACKIE: Why don’t you two dance together and maybe we’ll go over and teach Hailey how to move!

Kate and Daniel smile shyly at each other and go off to dance. Jackie and Gwendolyn watch.

JACKIE: Ugh, Mum will be revolting when she finds out!

GWENDOLYN: Don’t say anything! She’ll start making wedding arrangements!

JACKIE: I know you’re joking, but that’s probably true!

Jackie and Gwendolyn want to go to the punch bowl but see that Lacy and Angela are talking to their gaggle of men in that area.

GWENDOLYN: Who’s going in there?

JACKIE: I’m used to their antics, so I’ll do it.

Jackie makes a beeline to the punch bowl, ignoring the giggly group. Lacy and Angela talk to her still.

LACY: Jackie! Have you met George, Stephen, Thomas, Neville, and Taylor?

JACKIE: No.

ANGELA: How about Peter, John, Scott, Chris, or Jack?

JACKIE: No.

LACY: Well, this is George-

JACKIE: That’s nice!

Jackie starts to leave with two cups, but Angela grabs her arm.

ANGELA: Wait!

When her arm is grabbed, Jackie spills punch on Gwendolyn’s outfit.

ANGELA: Oh, I’m so sorry! Maybe you can find a boy to-

GWENDOLYN: Clean it up? Is that a joke? I’ll go to the bathroom and wash it out myself.

JACKIE: Do you want me to come with you?

GWENDOLYN: Maybe you should stay here and keep an eye on certain people.

JACKIE: Good point!

Gwendolyn leaves. Jackie finds Hailey and dances with her. Jackie looks around the room and sees Daniel talking to Phillip, who is handsome but has a very disdainful look on his face.

DANIEL: Come on, dance! There must be at least ten dozen beautiful women here!

PHILLIP: No, I don’t dance. Besides, I don’t see any “beautiful” girls. They look pretty average to me.

DANIEL: What about Kate’s sister over there?

Jackie pretends like she is not listening.

DANIEL: She is almost as gorgeous as Kate!

PHILLIP: Eh. She is fair enough to look at but not good enough to tempt me.

Jackie laughs at his arrogance.

DANIEL: Well, Phillip, why did you come to my party if you weren’t going to dance?

PHILLIP: I don’t know. I’m going with you to the adults’ party.

DANIEL: (to Kate) I’ll be back in a little bit.

KATE: ‘Kay.

Daniel and Phillip leave. Kate joins Hailey and Phillip.

KATE: Whew! Is anyone else hot?

Hailey and Jackie laugh.

KATE: You know what I mean!

JACKIE: So what’s the deal with Prince Charming?

KATE: You mean Phillip? I’m not sure, but I do know that he’s Daniel’s best friend. They met in boarding school as children.

HAILEY: Did he ask you out?

KATE: Uh, kinda. His sister, Emma, just moved to Surrey for nursing school, and she doesn’t know anyone in the area, so he invited me to have dinner with them tomorrow. But it’s not a date!

JACKIE: Has he invited anyone else to dinner?

KATE: No.

JACKIE: He wants you to meet his family?

KATE: Yes.

JACKIE: It’s a date!

They laugh girlishly. Gwendolyn rejoins the party.

GWENDOLYN: The stain won’t come out!

KATE: Club soda should get it out. I bet Daniel has some. Let’s go ask!

Kate eagerly escorts Gwendolyn to the adults’ party. As they pass the butler, they see Mrs. Goodman struggling to get past the butler.

MRS. GOODMAN: I just want to see my daughters! Ah, there’s one of them there!

KATE: I don’t know her!

Kate and Gwendolyn speed past her. Mrs. Goodman continues to struggle with the butler. Angela, Lacy, Hailey, and Jackie pretend like they cannot see her.

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