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FINAL RECKONING
A small office in Boston, late summer. For our purposes, all we need is a desk or desk-like table with chair, and two simple chairs in front of the desk. There are a few stacks of paper on the desk.
At rise, DARYL, a public relations man, is at the desk, on his cell phone.
DARYL
(into phone)
...Yeah, they’re on the way up...I have the mock-up for the poster right here...Oh, they’ll be fine. I know how to deal with actors...Yes, even them. Hey, from what I hear, the rehearsals have been smooth as butta...What?...No, that’s just me talking Boston, people find it endearing.
(there is chatter, off)
Okay, they’re here...I’ll give you a call when it’s over...Stop worrying, they’ll be fine! They love each other!...Okay, bye...
BETHEL and CLARICE, mature actresses, enter. They are all smiles--gracious, courteous and magnanimous to a fault.
BETHEL
(hand extended, right to Daryl)
Hello! You must be Daryl! So very nice to meet you!
(shakes his hand)
CLARICE
(hot on her heels; reaches over Bethel to grab his other hand)
We’ve heard so, so much about you!
DARYL
All good, I hope!
BETHEL
Oh! Are you kidding?
(to Clarice)
He’s kidding!
CLARICE
Are you kidding! Nothing but good! Good, good, good!
BETHEL
Better than good! Great!
DARYL
Good.
CLARICE
No! Great!
Bethel ane Clarice laugh uproariously at Clarice’s remark. 
DARYL
Well, then...shall we...have a seat?
BETHEL
(pointing at his chair)
I see you already have one!
CLARICE
(pointing to other chairs)
We’ll take these!
Another really phony laugh as they sit.
BETHEL
(as she takes the chair closer to Daryl and Clarice takes the other)
Are you all right there, honey?
CLARICE
Oh, I’m fine, sweety, just fine here.
BETHEL
Because I can switch.
CLARICE
No. No, you stay there. I’m fine. Really. I’m fine. You forgot your glasses. You stay there. It’s closer.
The smile on Bethel’s face freezes, but remains. She keeps smiling, and looks to Daryl.
DARYL
Well...I hear...rehearsals are going along swimmingly.
BETHEL
Oh, my God, SO swimmingly!
CLARICE
Backstroke. Butterfly. Dog paddle. So much swimming!
BETHEL
And the play!
CLARICE
Oh! This play! This PLAY! It is...It is...a gift. 
(to Bethel)
Is that what it is? Is it a gift?
BETHEL
It’s a gift! It’s...it’s more than a gift...It’s a blessing.
CLARICE
An honor.
BETHEL
An endowment, practically.
DARYL
Wow.
BETHEL
But most of all...most of all...
(they look at each other)
CLARICE
It’s a gift.
BETHEL
It’s a gift.
DARYL
So, listen...
BETHEL
And it’s a gift not only to us...but to the audience as well.
CLARICE
Oh! What a gift it will be to the audience!
BETHEL
Because they know us! The people in this town! The theatregoing public! They know us! They believe in us! They trust us! And this piece...this piece...
CLARICE
This piece of...this piece of...
BETHEL
This play...which has been written specifically for us, takes what we do best and delivers it... 
CLARICE
No! Throws it! Propels it!
BETHEL
Thrusts it!
CLARICE
Oh, my God, does it thrust it!