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Mrs. Loring reading

So, so behind. Bad Phoebe. But here's a scene from Mrs. Loring, which is having a staged reading on the last Thursday of the month, that I have substantially edited. This is the most problematic scene in the piece, one I have struggled with a lot to convey the meaning I want. It's supposed to deal with the fact that part of the failure of the mental institution the characters are in is that it enforces a helpless idleness on all the patients that render them useless to see themselves as having agency. This scene is supposed to show how someone believing that they are capable gives them back a lot of their agency, and with it, their ability to improve their own condition. It's been tough to get it to work the way I wanted to, so I edited it today. It's a bit better. But I don't know if it's quite where I want it yet.

And, hey, this is a weakest scene in the play. If you like it, come to the reading, because literally every other scene is better than this one!

From Mrs. Loring - Day #17 - "Not as Hopeless as They Say"

ELIZABETH LORING, a young society widow, mid-twenties
GAIL MITCHELL, a nurse matron at the hospital, late thirties
GINNY GRIER, a young girl at the hospital, mid teens
LILLIAN HOLLAND, a longtime patient, early thirties AMELIA PAGE, another patient, early twenties

ELIZABETH: I’ve seen this Paulin fellow in the garden a few times now. He asked me about Miles.

GINNY: That’s my mother’s lawyer. He’ll report anything he finds straight back to her!

LILLIAN: We’ll have to put him off somehow. But who knows what people will see and runs their mouth about?

GINNY: We have to hide it!

LILLIAN: There’s no keeping secrets in here.

GINNY: What else can we do?

(Enter AMELIA, bleary in her nightdress.)

AMELIA: What’s going on?

GINNY: Oh, Jesus, it’s her!

ELIZABETH: Amelia! What are you doing out of your room?

AMELIA: I couldn’t sleep, I had bad dreams. What are you doing? It’s past lights out.

GINNY: Nothing, we’re not doing anything!

LILLIAN: Don’t strain yourself, doll.

AMELIA: Nurse Mitchell isn’t going to like this.

LILLIAN: She isn’t going to find out.

AMELIA: She’s fetching my medicine.

ELIZABETH: She’s coming?

LILLIAN: Amelia, get out of here!


LILLIAN: The stupid girl will give the whole game away!


GINNY: Get going, you silly cow!

(AMELIA begins to get upset.)

AMELIA: Stop it, I haven’t done anything!

ELIZABETH: We’re sorry, Amelia… it’s only… Ginny’s in trouble.

AMELIA: What kind of trouble?

ELIZABETH: Real trouble. She needs help. We’re trying to help her.

GINNY: Elizabeth!

AMELIA: So what? She’s so mean to me!

ELIZABETH: Maybe you could help too.


LILLIAN: Are you crazy?

ELIZABETH: Just as you said, there’s no keeping secrets in here! We need everyone on our side that we can get. Amelia, you could be the difference to carry Ginny through this.

AMELIA: But I can’t… do anything!

ELIZABETH: I don’t believe that.

AMELIA: But I’m hopeless. Everyone says so.

ELIZABETH: Amelia, we need you. All of us need you.

AMELIA: You? But… you did everything right!


AMELIA: You did! You married a good man and had a nice baby and did everything you were supposed to, and you still ended up in here! If that happened to you… what chance does someone like me have?

GINNY: About as much chance as I’ve got. But we’re not as hopeless as they say.

AMELIA: How do you know that?

GINNY: Because… somebody thought I was worth helping. If I’m good for something, then you are too.

(Pause as they regard each other. NURSE MITCHELL’s voice can be heard from offstage.)

NURSE MITCHELL: Amelia? What’s all this carrying on about?

AMELIA: Nurse… Nurse Mitchell? I… I was alone, and I got scared. I’m coming!

(She glances back at the others, then runs out. There is a long pause.)

LILLIAN: Well, I’ll be damned. Maybe we can pull off this scheme of yours after all. If impossible things are happening.

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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