Two Plays

by Johanna Freedman
The dining room of an unfrequented boarding-house on the island of Rost. a barren dot of land near the Arct1c Circle. The room ls small and dark and, like the Island, unfriendly to strangers. It is a hostile, quiet room. glowering sullenly under the uncertain gleam of a swaying oil lamp. A chill wind. sneaking past closed windows through the ch1nks in the wall-boards, adds to the damp dejection. A rough, rectangular, wooden table sits diffidently in the middle of the room. Six straight~backed chairs surround it. As the scene opens, the room waits sulkily, empty of characters except for OLD MAN. who sits in a chair with his back to the audience, He is gray-haired and slouched. obviously resentful at being exposed to the curious eyes of the audience. He says nothing, wilfully hoping that the curtain may, by some miracle, fall again. The chair next to him will remain empty for the duration of the play. However, we soon realize that any member of the audience could fill it comfortably.