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.


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