Complicated, Act I, Scene 10

The stage is set like the ballroom from scene 2. Everyone is dancing to pop music. Jackie and Gwendolyn go to the punch bowl.

GWENDOLYN: Hey, we get to try the punch this time!

Gwendolyn hands Jackie a cup of punch.

JACKIE: Cheers! But that does remind me, where are the mischievous madams?

GWENDOLYN: Off causing trouble, where else would they be?

JACKIE: Well, obviously they’re up to no good, but I just need to know if they’re breaking any laws or in any actual danger.

GWENDOLYN: I think they’re smart enough not to get involved in that sort of business.

Jackie looks doubtful. Suddenly, they hear a very shrill laugh. They see Lacy running towards them holding a black, leather journal. NEVILLE (a brunette, curly haired man in a military uniform) chases after her. Lacy hands Jackie the book.

LACY: Don’t let him have this!

Lacy giggles and runs off. Neville comes up to Jackie and Gwendolyn.

NEVILLE: Have you ladies seen my book? It’s black, leather-

Jackie hands the book to him.

JACKIE: Here. We don’t want part of your strange little game.

NEVILLE: Sorry, I didn’t want to play, but she took it as I was writing in it.

GWENDOLYN: What would prompt you to start writing at a party?

NEVILLE: Oh, it’s…a book of poetry. I write when the mood strikes me.

JACKIE: Ah, the sensitive military man!

NEVILLE: I guess. I’m Neville, by the way. Neville Hawley.

GWENDOLYN: I’m Gwendolyn Fulton, and this is Jacqueline Goodman.

JACKIE: Please, call me Jackie.

NEVILLE: Okay, Jackie. Well, it was nice meeting you.

Neville leaves.

JACKIE: He’s cute.

GWENDOLYN: Yes, but if you’re thinking of pursuing him, just remember who he was flirting with before he saw you.

JACKIE: I think he’s deep. He’s the type of guy that doesn’t embrace chauvinistic ideals and isn’t afraid to show his sensitive side. He’s tough but gentle. That seems like the kind of guy that would treat me like an equal and help me spread some of my feminist ideas.

GWENDOLYN: Oh, you still believe in true love like that, huh? Not me, I just want to find a guy with a nice, stable job and who owns his own house. I’ll never have to worry about finances, and that’s good enough for me.

JACKIE: Whatever. Why don’t we go dance?

Jackie and Gwendolyn go to the dance floor and dance. After a minute, Phillip comes up to Jackie.

PHILLIP: May I have this dance?

JACKIE: I thought you don’t dance.

PHILLIP: Please, I’d be honored if you danced with me.

GWENDOLYN: He’d be honored, you should go! I can dance alone.

Jackie reluctantly agreed to dance with him. Gwendolyn looked amused and found another group to dance with. Jackie looks a little uncomfortable while Phillip seems a little nervous.

PHILLIP: So, you’re going to the University of Surrey?


PHILLIP: I just graduated from there. I studied French.

JACKIE: French? What career are you planning with that?

PHILLIP: I’m not. I just thought it was interesting. Don’t worry, I won’t be scraped for cash because I’ll take over my father’s wine industry someday.

JACKIE: That’s good.

PHILLIP: So, what are you going to do after you get your degree?

JACKIE: Hopefully get a job that can help the feminist movement.

PHILLIP: Are you staying in England?

JACKIE: Yes, why would I move?

PHILLIP: I don’t know, a lot of people end up moving. My cousin went to Boston. He likes living in the States.

JACKIE: Good for him.

Jackie looks around the room and sees only Angela.

JACKIE: Uh oh.

PHILLIP: What’s wrong?

JACKIE: Have you seen Lacy?

PHILLIP: Last I saw, she was chasing that scoundrel, Neville, out of the room.

Jackie looks worried.

PHILLIP: Maybe they went to the library with Hailey?

JACKIE: Yeah, maybe.

Jackie still looks worried. The song ends.

PHILLIP: Thank you for the dance.

JACKIE: You’re welcome.

Jackie rushes over to Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn looks like she wants to gossip but then sees the look on Jackie’s face.

GWENDOLYN: What happened?

JACKIE: Lacy disappeared with a boy.

GWENDOLYN: Let’s look for her. Wait, there she is re-entering the party.

Lacy enters, and Jackie confronts her immediately.

JACKIE: Where were you?

LACY: In the library. Where else would I be? I don’t know this place too well!

Jackie did not believe her, but she cannot think of an argument. She shakes her head and goes back to Gwendolyn.

GWENDOLYN: Well, at least Angela was surrounded by too many boys to sneak away!

Jackie laughs. Daniel and Kate go up to a microphone, and Daniel talks into it.

DANIEL: Okay, glad you’re all having a good time! Now it’s time to move this party to the dining hall for presents and cake.

Daniel holds Kate’s hands and leads the group into the next room.

Complicated, Act I Scenes 8 & 9

Scene 8

The reading room/tv room should be rolled back in, but only the tv room should be lit. Daniel and Phillip are having a nightcap in there. Emma, in her pajamas, sneaks by the tv room, overhears them conversing, and decides to eavesdrop. She stands by the entry to the tv room and listens.

DANIEL: Isn’t she wonderful?

PHILLIP: Please tell me you’re not talking about Emma! I know she’s your sister, but quite frankly I find her ghastly!

Emma is offended by his comment.

DANIEL: Well, we all hope that her nursing courses will teach her more therapeutic rapport. But I mean Kate! Such a lovely person, inside and out!

PHILLIP: Are you going to write her poetry?


PHILLIP: You sound like some bloke who would put on some tights and serenade to his beloved’s window!

DANIEL: She makes me happy, what can I say?

PHILLIP: If I start courting my dream girl, you won’t catch me writing her sonnets like you!

DANIEL: Jackie?

Phillip almost drops his drink in surprise.

PHILLIP: Kate’s sister? What about her?

DANIEL: Come on, you were staring at her all night!

PHILLIP: Well, I will admit I misjudged her at your party. She is smart but still has a sense of adventure that makes her intriguing. I find her fascinating!

DANIEL: And pretty?


DANIEL: That’s a yes!

PHILLIP: I never really thought about it. I suppose she has pretty eyes, and a nice figure…

DANIEL: Fair enough to tempt you now?


Emma is very jealous now.

DANIEL: Well mate, glad you finally humbled yourself to admit you were wrong. She’s already changing you for the better!

PHILLIP: If you say so.

DANIEL: And I do.

PHILLIP: Of course you do, you’re a romantic. And yet you have not officially asked out your lady.

DANIEL: I will soon. Do you think she likes me?

PHILLIP: I don’t think she would’ve put up with Emma for two days if she didn’t adore you!

Again, Emma gets mad.

DANIEL: (grinning at the thought) Well, I’m going to turn in now.

PHILLIP: Good night, poet!

DANIEL: Have lots of wonderful dreams of your secret love!

PHILLIP: Shut up!

Phillip leaves the opposite direction of Emma.

DANIEL: Hey Emma, next time pull up a chair and get a little closer!

Emma is embarassed and runs out of the room. Daniel laughs. Lights Fade.

Scene 9

The lights should go on for the reading room. The lighting and set pieces should return to the Goodman’s setting. Mr. Goodman is reading the newspaper. Jackie passes through.

MR. GOODMAN: Glad to be home again?

JACKIE: Oh yeah! I mean, Daniel is super nice, but his sister is quite the opposite. And that Phillip guy was annoying.

MR. GOODMAN: Growing up in this house, it takes a lot to annoy you! What did he do, say something chauvinistic?

JACKIE: No. He wouldn’t stop staring at me.

MR. GOODMAN: Maybe he likes you.

JACKIE: No, at the other party, he said I was “fair enough to look at but not enough to tempt” him. I think he was just making me uncomfortable. Anyways, I just wanted to throw away this muffin I forgot about! Kate coughed on it and…

MR. GOODMAN: And you actually considered giving it to her? I understand. I know how much it means to her for you girls to find a man, but getting yourself sick seems a bit drastic!

JACKIE: Well, let’s hope she got it out of her system and Kate’s courtship will be less thrilling to her.

Squeals of delight come from offstage. Kate, carrying a letter, comes in closely followed by Mrs. Goodman and the rest of her sisters. Jackie and Mr. Goodman silently agree that Jackie’s last statement was wrong.

JACKIE: Gee, I wonder who that letter is from!

KATE: It says Kathleen J. Goodman and family.

LACY: Oh, open it already!

Kate opens the letter and reads aloud.

KATE: Dear Goodmans, I am having a party in honor of my twenty-eighth birthday next Saturday from seven to midnight. Everyone but Mrs. Goodman may attend. Sorry, but I must comply with my butler’s restraining order. Just in case you were wondering, his arm is getting much better!

Mrs. Goodman pouts, and everyone looks to her for an explanation.

MR. GOODMAN: Do you really want to know?


KATE: See you all there! P.S.- Kate, I hope you will arrive early and come as my date!

Mrs. Goodman, Angela, and Lacy all squeal girlishly. Kate turns completely red, and Mr. Goodman and Jackie look amused at the scene.

KATE: Oh my goodness, I’m his date! I’m so nervous already! What do I wear?

MRS. GOODMAN: We’ll find you something when we go shopping. You all need to go shopping! Because you know there will be boys there and-

JACKIE: It would be an absolute tragedy if we all didn’t find husbands there, right?

MR. GOODMAN: It will be easier on everyone if you just go along with her mad delusion and be excited for the prospect of boys. Uh, just find one boy though.

Lacy and Angela grin miscellaneously.

Complicated, Act I Scene 7

Strike the previous set. The long tables from Scene 2 should be brought back but lined up so they appear as one long table, and a fancy table cloth should be put upon along with dinnerware. All but three seats should be filled. The guests should be dressed in formal dinner party clothes. Classical music should be played in the background. The butler stands at the entrance of the room, and his arm is in a cast. Emma sits next to an empty seat and Daniel.

EMMA: Jackie is late. How unseemly!

DANIEL: She’s helping her sister. Phillip is late, criticize him.

EMMA: He is fashionably late!

DANIEL: No, Jackie is fashionably because she’s doing a noble thing. Phillip is late for no apparent reason.

EMMA: He is a man of class and surely must have a good reason.

DANIEL: Not all men of class act in a classy way. Look at all the stuff Neville did.

Before Emma can respond, the butler makes an announcement.

BUTLER: Presenting Phillip Darcy Attenwood!

Emma smiles broadly, and Daniel rolls his eyes.

EMMA: Phillip, darling, I saved you a seat!

PHILLIP: That’s nice.

Phillip takes a seat far from her. Emma pouts. The dinner conversation is light and merry. Soon the butler makes another announcement.

BUTLER: Presenting Kathleen Jane Goodman and Jacqueline Elizabeth Goodman.

A lot of the guests are surprised on how beautiful the girls look and murmur about this. The girls smile but awkwardly take the two remaining seats.

OLD MAN: Daniel, my good lad, which is the Kate that you said is the prettiest girl you’ve ever seen?

Daniel groans from embarrassment and hides his head with his hand. Kate is also embarrassed but sits next to him. Jackie takes a seat directly across from Phillip, who cannot stop staring at Jackie. 

OLD MAN: Either way, you made a wise choice. They both look stunning!

DANIEL: You look like you’re feeling better!

KATE: Looks can be deceiving! Jackie and I were late trying to do my make up well enough so I don’t look like a zombie!

JACKIE: I’m just glad she’s well enough to get out of bed. Hopefully we won’t be trespassing on your hospitality too much longer!

DANIEL: Don’t be ridiculous! You’re always welcome here!

Emma scoffs at that remark.

PHILLIP: Emma, you would do well to remember that you are a guest in this place too.

Emma is embarrassed that Phillip made everyone notice her rudeness.

OLD LADY: So, Kate, Jackie, tell us more about yourselves. What do you do when you’re not attending dinner parties.

KATE: I study social sciences at the University. I hope to start a charitable organization that helps victims of foreclosures. A lot of people don’t have anywhere to go and need a temporary place to stay while they get their lives back together.

JACKIE: I study at the same University, although I’m studying feminist theory. I see a lot of gaping holes in the path to female equality and I’d like to help women achieve full empowerment. I plan to study law so I can take this all the way to parliament if I have to. Everyone should be treated like an equal, and it’s high time we kept these archaic notions of superiority and oppression in the past!

OLD LADY: Here, here!

OLD MAN: Wow, pretty, smart, and kind, where did you find these gems?

Everyone murmurs in agreement. Emma tries to hide her intense jealousy.