The Family Home; A Russian Play by Trevor P. Bourland
This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent
Scene One (1917)
An interior of an apartment. To the left, two rooms. In 1917, the leftmost was a bedroom and the center was a parlor, but in 1991 they are both single-family residences. To the right, a kitchen. A window overlooks a space between buildings. Further back, a dining room. Left of the kitchen, a hallway leading back and to the left behind the rooms to an entryway.
ANNA IVANOVNA, the lady of the house, plays a Chopin nocturne on the piano in the parlor. In the kitchen, POLINA, the maid, prepares tea. Suddenly, the music stops.
ANNA IVANOVNA. (rising, calling to Polina) Did you hear something?
POLINA. No, ma’am. I was hearing your beautiful playing until you stopped, but nothing else.
Anna Ivanovna comes to sit in the kitchen.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Forgive me, Polina. I’ve been on edge as of late. (A beat) When did he say he’d be back?
POLINA. Five o’clock. And that’s still half an hour away, you needn’t worry.
ANNA IVANOVNA. It’s all this Revolution business. I don’t pretend to understand what exactly is going on, but I worry that it will begin to affect us, not just those in power. I mean, the Czar has abdicated, is that not enough?
POLINA. I suppose not, ma’am. (Pouring a cup of tea) Drink up. It will help you relax.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Such is the way, I suppose. We become dissatisfied with our lives, and search for something which we can control and we change it. A fleeting moment of satisfaction, a sense of momentary control.
The sound of a doorknob turning, people entering. From the hallway appear KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH, followed by MARYA KONSTANTINOVNA and ANTON KONSTANTINOV.
ANNA IVANOVNA. My loves! Welcome home, darling. (She kisses Konstantin on the cheek) How was your outing?
KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH. The children seem to have enjoyed themselves. We had better keep an eye on Prince Hubert’s son.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Why? What’s happened?
KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH. Nothing yet, thank God. But I saw the way he was looking at our Mashenka this afternoon while the children were ice-skating. I am telling you– that boy is trouble.
MARYA KONSTANTINOVNA. I will have nothing to do with that boy anyways.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Oh?
MARYA KONSTANTINOVNA. He has the face of a rat and smells worse!
KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH. Now that I think about it, their courtship could be good for the family.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Really? I can imagine Prince Hubert expecting a hefty dowry. But oh, how wonderful it would be to become sisters in law with Kitty!
KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH. I can see you two now, you playing piano as she sings to entertain a packed room of guests.
ANNA IVANOVNA. I miss her so.
KONSTANTIN GLEBOVICH. Perhaps I should speak with Prince Hubert tonight. I will be back for dinner.
ANNA IVANOVNA. Kostya, wait. Be careful.
She wraps his scarf around his neck before he exits.
MARYA KONSTANTINOVNA. Mother, do I have to marry Vassily?
ANNA IVANOVNA. Perhaps. Your father is on his way to speak with his. I suppose we shall know when he returns. I can’t help but think of the celebration; seeing you float across the ballroom in a beautiful white gown.
MARYA KONSTANTINOVNA. I don’t think I could endure it. That boy is despicable.
ANNA IVANOVNA. I’m sure you’ll manage.
Scene Two (1991)
An alarm clock wails in the leftmost bedroom. LUDMILA, who is lying in the bed, reaches to silence it.
LUDMILA. Four o’clock. Get up.
On the floor near the opposite wall, MAXIM stirs.
LUDMILA. If you don’t get up now, you’ll be late again. I can’t afford for you to get in trouble.
MAXIM. I’m up.
LUDMILA. Go start heating some water in the kitchen.
Maxim exits, then reenters in the kitchen and begins preparing coffee. Suddenly, there is a pounding on the wall from the next room.
SERGEI. Quiet over there! Some of us are trying to sleep.
LUDMILA. Sorry, Sergei.
In bed next to her, ALYOSHA stirs.
LUDMILA. Good morning, Alyosha. I didn’t mean to wake you. Go back to sleep, I’ll wake you for breakfast.
She gets up and exits, reentering in the kitchen and searching for food in the cabinets.
MAXIM. What are you looking for?
LUDMILA. Food. I thought we had some canned beef.
MAXIM. Not anymore.
LUDMILA. You greedy little shit!
MAXIM. It wasn’t me. It must have been Sergei, he’s been getting fatter.
LUDMILA. After work, you’ll go buy some.
MAXIM. With what money?
LUDMILA. Whatever you’ve got. I don’t have anything to give you.
MAXIM. I was going to spend that money.
LUDMILA. On what? Drugs? Whores?
MAXIM. If I wanted a whore, I’d go knock on Olga’s door.
LUDMILA. That isn’t funny. Promise me you’ll buy us some food?
MAXIM. Fine, I promise.