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The Straw   By: (1888-1953)

Book cover

First Page:

The Emperor Jones

The Straw , and ' Diff'rent

Three Plays by

Eugene O'Neill

Jonathan Cape Thirty Bedford Square, London

FIRST PUBLISHED 1922 REPRINTED IN 1925 REPRINTED IN 1931 REPRINTED IN 1935 REPRINTED IN 1953 REPRINTED IN 1955 REPRINTED IN 1958 REPRINTED IN 1965

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY BUTLER AND TANNER LTD. FROME AND LONDON BOUND BY A. W. BAIN AND CO. LTD.

Characters

Bill Carmody Mary } Nora } his children Tom } Billy } Doctor Gaynor Fred Nicholls Eileen Carmody, Bill's eldest child Stephen Murray Miss Howard, a nurse in training Miss Gilpin, superintendent of the Infirmary Doctor Stanton, of the Hill Farm Sanatorium Doctor Simms, his assistant Mr. Sloan Peters, a patient Mrs. Turner, matron of the Sanatorium Miss Bailey } Mrs. Abner } Patients Flynn } Other Patients of the Sanatorium Mrs. Brennan

( The characters are named in the order in which they appear )

Act One

Scene One: The Kitchen of the Carmody Home Evening.

Scene Two: The Reception Room of the Infirmary, Hill Farm Sanatorium An Evening a Week Later.

Act Two

Scene One: Assembly Room of the Main Building at the Sanatorium A Morning Four Months Later.

Scene Two: A Crossroads Near the Sanatorium Midnight of the Same Day.

Act Three

An Isolation Room and Porch at the Sanatorium An Afternoon Four Months Later.

TIME 1910

The Straw

Act One

Act One: Scene One

The kitchen of the Carmody home on the outskirts of a manufacturing town in Connecticut. On the left, forward, the sink. Farther back, two windows looking out on the yard. In the left corner, rear, the icebox. Immediately to the right of it, in the rear wall, a window opening on the side porch. To the right of this, a china cupboard, and a door leading into the hall where the main front entrance to the house and the stairs to the floor above are situated. On the right, to the rear, a door opening on to the dining room. Further forward, the kitchen range with scuttle, wood box, etc. In the centre of the room, a table with a red and white cloth. Four cane bottomed chairs are pushed under the table. In front of the stove, two battered wicker rocking chairs. The floor is partly covered by linoleum strips. The walls are papered a light cheerful colour. Several old framed picture supplement prints hang from nails. Everything has a clean, neatly kept appearance. The supper dishes are piled in the sink ready for washing. A saucepan of water simmers on the stove.

It is about eight o'clock in the evening of a bitter cold day in late February of the year 1912.

As the curtain rises, Bill Carmody is discovered fitting in a rocker by the stove, reading a newspaper and smoking a blackened clay pipe. He is a man of fifty, heavy set and round shouldered, with long muscular arms and swollen veined, hairy hands. His face is bony and ponderous; his nose short and squat; his mouth large, thick lipped and harsh; his complexion mottled red, purple streaked, and freckled; his hair, short and stubby with a bald spot on the crown. The expression of his small, blue eyes is one of selfish cunning. His voice is loud and hoarse. He wears a flannel shirt, open at the neck, criss crossed by red braces; black, baggy trousers grey with dust; muddy brogues.

His youngest daughter, Mary, is sitting on a chair by the table, front, turning over the pages of a picture book. She is a delicate, dark haired, blue eyed, quiet little girl about eight years old.

CARMODY ( after watching the child's preoccupation for a moment, in a tone of half exasperated amusement ). Well, but you're the quiet one, surely! ( Mary looks up at him with a shy smile, her eyes still full of dreams... Continue reading book >>




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