Thursday, November 29, 2007

THE TRYSTING PLACE by Booth Tarkington

The Play: Booth Tarkington, THE TRYSTING PLACE, A Farce in One Act. Baker's Plays reprint, undated (originally published 1921). Good condition; cover is loose, script is heavily marked with stage directions and lines for "Mrs. Briggs" highlighted
First read: 1981
Owned since: 1981

Memory's so capricious. I look at this script and know that my high school drama group performed this as part of a set of one-act plays during my senior year, 1981-1982; I have only the slightest memory of having been in it, or even the time of year it was performed. It must have been in the fall, because we did musicals in the wintertime (I stage-managed our production of The Sound of Music), and I played Nina in a shortened version of The Good Doctor in the spring (my finest hour onstage, to this day).

I don't think we performed The Trysting Place for the state one-acts competition, but we might have. It's very strange that I can't remember this, but the fall of my senior year was a little overcrowded; my grandfather Lamb died, and I was trying to get my early decision application in to Georgetown. A note on the back page in my handwriting says, "10/16 -- I'm so tired!"

Anyway, it's a classic drawing-room comedy about two young couples in love, and I played the interfering mother, Mrs. Briggs, "a handsome woman of 45 or 50, not now in a gracious mood." What's nice is that Mrs. Briggs, too, is paired up by the end of the play.

I'm glad I kept this script, because otherwise I'd have no memory of the experience at all. Sitting here, looking at notes that refer to some private joke lost to the years, feels like excavating the deepest corners of an old file cabinet.


Anonymous said...

Hee, I'm playing Mrs. Briggs too.

Question: by "state one-act competition" did you mean Texas UIL by any chance?

AnswerGirl said...

Nope -- Virginia!

Keka said...

i played mrs briggs too! :-)
this was for an annual day performance at college (and i went to a girls' college!) - we had so much fun doing this play!

John said...

Lol, In high school I played Rupert --who is supposed to be 25. I was all of 17 and thought 25 to be SO OLD.