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The Gibson Upright   By: (1869-1946)

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Gibson Upright









ANDREW GIBSON, a piano factory owner

NORA GORODNA, a piano tester and socialist labor organizer

MR. MIFFLIN, a socialist journalist

CARTER, an elderly factory worker

FRANKEL, a young Jewish factory worker

SHOMBERG, a factory worker

SIMPSON, an elderly factory worker

SALVATORE, an Italian factory worker

RILEY, a truck driver

ELLA, Mr. Gibson's housemaid

MRS. SIMPSON, wife of Simpson

MRS. COMMISKEY, wife of a worker (offstage voice)

POLENSKI, a worker



ANDREW GIBSON'S office in his piano factory where he manufactures "The Gibson Upright." A very plain interior; pleasant to the eye, yet distinctly an office in a factory, and without luxuries; altogether utilitarian.

Against the wall on our right is a roll top desk, open, very neat, and in the centre of the writing pad a fresh rose stands in a glass of water. Near by is a long, plain table and upon it a very neat arrangement of correspondence and a couple of ledgers.

Against the walls are a dozen plain cane seated chairs. Near the centre of the room is a sample of the Gibson upright piano in light wood. There is a large safe, showing the word "Gibson," and there are filing cases. In the rear wall there is a door with the upper half of opaque glass, which shows "Mr. Gibson" in reverse; and near this door is a water filter upon a stand. In the wall upon our left is a plain wooden door. The rear door opens into the factory; the other into a hall that leads to the street.

Upon the walls are several posters, one showing "The Gibson Upright" a happy family, including children and a grandparent, exclaiming with joy at sight of this instrument. Another shows a concert singer singing widely beside "The Gibson Upright," with an accompanist seated. Another shows a semi colossal millionaire, and a workingman of similar size in paper cap and apron, shaking hands across "The Gibson Upright," and, printed: "$188.00 The Price for the Millionaire, the Same for Plain John Smith $188.00." This poster and the others all show the slogan: "How Cheap, BUT How Good!"

Nothing is new in this room, but everything is clean and accurately in order. The arrangement is symmetrical.

As the curtain rises NORA GORODNA is seen at work on the sample "Gibson Upright." The front is not removed; but through the top of the piano she is adjusting something with a small wrench. NORA is a fine looking young woman, not over twenty six; she wears a plain smock over a dark dress. As she is a piano tester in the factory she is dressed neither so roughly as a working woman nor perhaps so fashionably as a stenographer. She is serious and somewhat preoccupied. From somewhere come the sounds of several pianos being tuned. After a moment NORA goes thoughtfully to the desk and looks at the rose in the glass; then lifts the glass as if to inhale the odour of the rose, but abruptly alters her decision and sets the glass down without doing so. She returns quickly and decisively to her work at the piano, as if she had made a determination.

A bell at the door on our left rings. NORA goes to the door and opens it.

NORA: Good morning, Mr. Mifflin.

MIFFLIN [ entering ]: Good morning, Miss Gorodna.

[MIFFLIN is a beaming man of forty, with gold rimmed eyeglasses and a somewhat grizzled beard which has been, a week or so ago, a neatly trimmed Vandyke. He wears a "cutaway suit," not much pressed, not new; a derby hat, a standing collar, and a "four in hand" dark tie; hard, round cuffs, not link cuffs. He carries a folded umbrella, not a fashionable one; wears no gloves; and has two or three old magazines and a newspaper under his arm... Continue reading book >>

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