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A Young Lady of Property: Six Short Plays - Collection / Anthology

A Young Lady of Property: Six Short Plays

Horton Foote

Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780822212911

A YOUNG LADY OF PROPERTY. Wilma, a lonely girl of fifteen, lives with …

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: DPS Collection

Collection / Anthology

A YOUNG LADY OF PROPERTY. Wilma, a lonely girl of fifteen, lives with her aunt. Her mother is dead, and her father, who is weak and not too reliable, goes out with a Mrs. Leighton, a woman of whom the town disapproves. In a wistful moment Wilma confesses to her best friend that what she really wants more than anything else is to live again with her father in the house her mother left her, and since she knows that will never happen, she would like to marry in a few years and live in her house with her husband and children. In the absence of a real family, the house has become everything to her—her whole identity based on this, her one possession, which makes her a young lady of property. Wilma's gentle, happy realization that her real purpose in life is to remain here as a wife and mother in this house she loves is shattered by the news that her father is planning to marry Mrs. Leighton and to sell Wilma's house. Not only is she losing her father, she is losing the one thing that represents a safe and happy future to her. She dashes out frantically, realizing the only person who can help her now is Mrs. Leighton. And to her great joy she discovers that Mrs. Leighton is a person of warmth and sympathy. She saves Wilma's house for her and helps Wilma realize that her father, after all, has a right to marry again. And Wilma has her house safely again to fill with life so that she need never be lonely. (3 men, 6 women.) THE DANCERS. Horace, a boy of sixteen, is visiting his sister who has arranged a date for him with Emily Crews, the prettiest and most popular girl in town. The date is for a dance—but Horace claims that he doesn't know how to dance. His sister coaches him a little, persuades him he'll do very well, and goes off to call for Emily. And in Emily's living room, waiting for her to appear, he discovers that Emily is being forced by her mother to go to the dance with him; and in great humiliation he leaves. He finds himself in a soda fountain where he meets Mary Catherine, a young girl who, like Horace, lacks confidence and so cripples her own considerable abilities and attractiveness. The two lonely young people are drawn to each other. Horace asks Mary Catherine to another dance, but at the same time his sister and Emily's mother again arrange for Horace to escort Emily, this time with Emily's cooperation, because she's unhappy about the way she treated Horace. But Horace stands firm; he's asked Mary Catherine, he wants to take Mary Catherine and he will. And he does. As Horace and Mary Catherine are about to leave for the dance they admit to each other their fears of not being good enough dancers, of not being popular—but, secure in the knowledge of one another's liking and respect, they start off for their first dance with more confidence and happiness than they've ever felt before. (3 men, 7 women.) THE OLD BEGINNINGS. Deals with the relationship between a domineering father and Tommy, his son, who loves his father but must break away from him in order to give his own personality a chance to develop. The father is well-meaning enough, but refuses to acknowledge that his son is a grown man, capable of making his own decisions. At the climax of the play, Tommy almost gives in and returns to his father to live and work but realizes beyond doubt that it would only be the same thing all over again; he must go off on his own until the time his father will come to realize that he is right in what he is doing. (7 men, 4 women.) JOHN TURNER DAVIS. A tender story of a kindly, childless couple who become interested in a boy whose aunt and uncle, migrant workers, have deserted him. Though the boy, John Turner, yearns for the return of his relatives, he comes to accept the fact that they have indeed left him behind, and turns to the couple who have befriended him and finds a permanent home with them. (7 men, 4 women, extras.) THE DEATH OF THE OLD MAN. It is a simple story, chiefly one of mood and character in
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