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President Teddy Bear

Cast of Characters:

Nora Parkington: 14, American, eldest daughter, spunky, ladylike, currently grumpy.
Pearl “Pea” Parkington: 6 ½, American, kid sister, bratty, whiny, attention seeking.
Alfred “Alfie” Parkington: 11, American, middle child and brother, know-it-all but has heart.

Setting:
Nursery in upper-class mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City, 1902, late morning, summer.

PRESIDENT TEDDY BEAR

NORA
Pea! Give that back to me it’s my birthday present!
PEARL
You didn’t want it, so it’s mine now! It’s so soft and cuddly…
NORA
Do you even know what it is?
PEARL
It’s… it’s…it’s a bear!
ALFRED
Not just any bear Pea, that’s a Teddy Bear! Named after our President, Teddy Roosevelt! Remember last week Nora, when he refused to kill a black bear on his hunting trip? Well now they’re making little stuffed bears in his honor! You should be happy to get one for your birthday.
NORA
Well Alfie, excuse me for not being thrilled to get yet another doll-
ALFRED
Bear!
NORA
-to drag around the Nursery! That’s all I do is sit around the house in these frilly dresses and-
PEARL (sing-songy) NORA (mockingly)
Learn how to be a lady!
NORA
Bleh! ‘Fold your napkin in your lap; chew like you have a secret; sit with your legs crossed; drink your tea with your pinky extended’…on and on!
PEARL
Well I can’t wait to be a lady! I’ll wear fancy dresses and go dancing and be the prettiest deb… deb…
NORA
Debutante? I can’t imagine something more terrible! Pea you’re being brainwashed into becoming some sort of snotty princess! If President Roosevelt really wanted to make a difference he would let women vote or something, instead of babying us with toy bears!
ALFRED
Nora, watch it or mum’ll wash your mouth out with soap again. Besides you should just be happy that the three of us aren’t in a workhouse right now. That mum and dad are rich enough to let us play instead!
NORA
Play? Maybe you can blow bubbles and have fun but I can’t. I’m just as unhappy at dopey tea parties as those ‘poor kids’ are in factories.
ALFRED
Now you’re just being ridiculous.
PEARL
There are kids that have to work?
ALFRED
Yes Pea, there are many poor kids that have to slave away in workhouses.
PEARL
How many?
ALFRED
Dad said about half the kids in New York.
PEARL
Well not us! Not the better half!
NORA
You don’t know what you’re talking about Pea, just be quiet.
ALFRED
Leave her alone she doesn’t know any better!
NORA
Exactly! All she knows is stupid housewife skills that fill her head with hot air.
It’s just sad.
ALFRED
Well, its noon I have to go, enjoy you’re birthday Miss Sassafras.
NORA
Where are you going?
ALFRED
The Wild West Traveling Show is in town and Dad said I could go with him, Mr. Hartley and Georgie.
NORA
Is that the show with cowboys and sharpshooters? Ooooooh, do you think Annie Oakley will be there? Could I come?
PEARL
Mum says Annie Oakley isn’t a lady!
NORA
Why do you think I like her so much? Alfie, do you think Daddy will let me come? After all it is my birthday!
ALFRED
Dad said it’s for men’s eyes only. He said there are floozy women there and daredevils! ‘No girls allowed’ he said, ‘just for the men of the house!’ he said. So I don’t think you can go Nora.
PEARL
Floozy! Floozy! Floozy! Hahaha!
NORA
That’s not fair! I’m the oldest and I won’t be left behind! Annie Oakley isn’t floozy! She rides horses and does tricks! She’s not a harlot!
ALFRED
Be quiet Nora! Stop being such a louse! I’m a boy and you’re a girl and your place is here in the Nursery! Be an example for Pearl will you? I’m going to the Wild West Show with the men now. Happy Birthday! (Leaves)
NORA
No need for him to get his knickers in a twist! I hate etiquette. Just because we’re loaded and live on “Millionaire’s Row” in New York, doesn’t make us better than anyone else Pea, remember that.
PEARL
Can I still have the Teddy bear?
NORA
Be my guest, but you just wait Pea. It’s a new century! Girls won’t have to hide behind President Teddy Bear for long.



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