Act 1, Scene 1

The scene opens on a tiny backyard with a clothes line. There are buildings all around, so mewhat run down, but still neat. A young woman is standing by the clothesline, hanging clothes and singing. She is pretty and young.

A Better Life

All I want is a better life,
Nothing fancy, just a little bit nice.
Don't need no fancy clothes, 
Just a little bit something to show.

All I want is a Better life,
Nothing Fancy, just a little bit nice.
All I want is some money to spend,
Keep me happy until the end.

All I want is a Better life
Nothing Fancy, just a little bit nice.
No gold bars and Rolls for me,
Just some green backs to keep me free.

They say I shouldn't dream,
Cause dreams aren't for the likes of me.
But still they come at night,
And All I want is a better life

While Meg is singing, Melanie pops her head over the fence during the last verse. She listens and may move in rhythm or snap her fingers. After Meg finishes singing, she continues hanging clothes.

MELANIE: Hey, Meg that was pretty good. You hear that on the top 40 or something.

MEG: (Looking shy) No, I just made it up. I was just thinking about marrying Paulie, and what I want to do.

MELANIE: You oughta send it in somewhere, it’s pretty good.

MEG: I don’t think so. It’s just something I made up. Like my poetry.

MELANIE: Meg, you shouldn’t be here hanging up laundry, getting ready to marry that dweeb Paulie. You should be in New York, trying to sell your poetry or your songs. You don’t belong here.

MEG: Easy enough for you to say. You aren’t afraid of anything. And why do you hang around here telling me what to do. Why aren’t you out selling your paintings?

MELANIE: ‘Cause I ain’t got any talent like you do. Sure my stuff is nice for homecoming, and school plays, but it ain’t classy like your stuff.

MEG: Aw c’mon, its good. So when are you going to start selling your stuff.

MELANIE: When you go out and sell yours. Why don’t we both run off to New York and do that. You wouldn’t have to marry Paulie and maybe we could become rich and famous.

MEG: (Looking down and lowering her voice) I promised him and I don’t break my promises.

MELANIE: He ain’t good for you Meg! You want to get shackled to him and end up having his kids and wondering what you missed twenty years from now? That’s whats going to happen, you know.

MEG: I love him and he is good. He cares about me and pays attention to me and…….

MELANIE: And expects you to follow him around and obey his every wish. I seen how he treats you, don’t try and fool me.

MEG: He’s all I’ve got right now. I’m afraid to go out and try to sell my writing. I might fail and then where would I be. Paulie is going to run his father’s store and we’ll have a nice business. I’m just too afraid to go out on my own.

MELANIE: Meg, you shouldn’t…

MEG: I should do this. What else can I do. {She looks at her watch and the time} Oh, Melanie, I’ve got to get in. I’ve got homework to do and more chores. I’ll see you tomorrow.

{The scene ends with MEG taking her clothes in and MELANIE standing at the fence showing disbelief at her friend actions}

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