Hey, I Discovered A Play.

The New Step:

A Ballet-Drama in One Act.
——————————————————————————
CHARACTERS:
MARY and DIANA, two working girls who room together. MARY is very plain, plump, clumsy: ugly, if one is inclined to the word. She is the typical victim of beauty courses and glamour magazines. Her life is a search for, a belief in the technique, the elixir, the method, the secret, the hint that will transform and render her forever lovely. DIANE is a natural beauty, tall, fresh and graceful, one of the blessed. She moves to a kind of innocent sexual music, incapable of any gesture which could intrude on this high animal grace. To watch her pull on her nylons is all one needs of ballet or art.

HARRY is the man Diane loves. He has the proportions we associate with Greek statuary. Clean, tall, openly handsome, athletic. He glitters with health, decency and mindlessness.

The COLLECTOR is a wo man over thirty, grotesquely obese, a great heap, deformed, barely mobile. She possesses a commanding will and combines the fascination of the tyrant and the freak. Her jolliness asks for no charity. All her movements represent the triumph of a rather sinister spiritual energy over an intolerable mass of flesh.

SCENE:
It is eight o’clock of a Saturday night. All the action takes place in the girls’ small apartment which need be furnished with no more than a dressing-mirror, wardrobe, record-player, easy chair and a front door. We have the Impression, as we do from the dwelling places of most bachelor girls, of an arrangement they want to keep comfortable but temporary.

DIANE is dressed in bra and panties, preparing herself for an evening with HARRY. MARY follows her about the room, lost in envy and awe, handing DIANE the necessary lipstick or brush, doing up a button or fastening a necklace. MARY is the dull but orthodox assistant to DIANE’S mysterious ritual of beauty.

MARY. What is it like?
DIANE. What like ?
MARY. You know.
DIANE. No.
MARY. To be like you.
DIANE. Such as?
MARY. Beautiful.
(Pause. During these pause DIANE continucs her toilet as does MARY her attcndance.)
DIANE. Everybody can be beautiful.
MARY. You can say that.
DIANE. Love makes people beautiful.
MARY. You can say that.
DIANE. A woman in love is beautiful.
(Pause.)
MARY. Look at me.
DIANE. I’ve got to hurry.
MARY. Harry always waits.
DIANE. He said he’s got something on his mind.
MARY. You’ve got the luck.
(Pause.)
MARY. Look at me a second.
DIANE. All right.
(MARY performs an aggressive curtsy.)
MARY. Give me some advice.
DIANE. Everybody has their points.
MARY. What are my points?
DIANE. What are your points?
MARY. Name my points.
(MARY stands there belligerently. She lifts up her skirt. She rolls up her sleeves. She tucks her sweater in tight.)
DIANE. I’ve got to hurry.
MARY. Name one point.
DIANE. You’ve got nice hands.
MARY. (surprised) Do I?
DIANE. Very nice hands.
MARY. Do I really?
DIANE. Hands are very important.
(MARY shows her hands to the mirror and give them little excerises.)
DIANE. Men often look at hands.
MARY. They do?.
DIANE. Often.
MARY. What do they think?
DIANE. Think?
MARY. (impatiently). When they look at hands.
DIANE. They think: There’s a nice pair of hands.
MARY. What else?
DIANE. They think: Those are nice hands to hold.
MARY. And?
DIANE. They think: Those are nice hands to — squeeze.
MARY. I’m listening.
DIANE. They think: Those are nice hands to — kiss.
MARY. Go on.
DIANE. They think — (racking her brain for compassion’s sake.)
MARY. Well?
DIANE. Those are nice hands to — love!.
MARY. Love!
DIANE. Yes.
MARY. What do you mean ‘love’?
DIANE. I do’nt have to explain.
MARY. Someone is going to love my hands?
DIANE. Yes
MARY. What about my arms?
DIANE. What about them? (A little surly.)
MARY. Are they one of my points?
(Pause.)
DIANE. I suppose not of your best.
MARY. What about my shoulders?.
(Pause.)
DIANE. Your shoulders are all right.
MARY. You know they’re not. They’re not.
DIANE. Then what did you ask me for?
MARY. What about my bosom?
DIANE. I don’t know your bosom.
MARY. You do know my bosom.
DIANE. I don’t.
MARY. You do.
DIANE. I don’t know your bosom.
MARY. You’ve seen me undressed.
DIANE. I never looked that hard.
MARY. You know my bosom all right. (But she’ll let it pass. She looks disgustedly at her hands.)
MARY. Hands!
DIANE. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
MARY. Sexiest knuckles on the block.
DIANE. Why hurt yourself?
MARY. My fingers are really stacked.
DIANE. Stop, sweetie…

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