Play #111 - The Open Door by Hana Mironoff
16-year-old Vera is drawing when Mr. Frampton arrives, having been referred here by his sister for a nice rest to settle his nerves. She shows him her drawing of her aunt, which is apparently quite unsettling, and begins to explain to him why the doors to the garden are open so late in the year: it seems her uncle and cousin and their dog died a tragic death three years ago, lost in a big while out on a hunting trip. And her aunt, unable to deal with the loss, leaves the door open as late as she can each day, hoping that they will return. Some nights, she says, you can even still hear them singing an old song. When Vera's aunt comes to greet Mr. Frampton, she sends Vera to fetch him tea , and tells him what lovely hunting weather they are having. She suggests that her husband can take him hunting during his visit. Mr. Frampton is visibly disturbed by this conversation, outlines his many illnesses, and sweats profusely. When he hears an old song wafting in the doors, it is all too much for him and he dashes out...just as Vera's uncle enters, fresh from a lovely day of hunting. He wonders about the strange man who just rushed out, but Vera explains that he is terrified of dogs because of a night he spent hiding in a grave from some fierce dogs. Finally, when the aunt discovers Vera's drawing, she explains matter-of-factly that Mr. Frampton was taking up drawing as part of his therapy. And they all settle in to tea.
This play is based on a short story, and it's really pretty delightful. I love the image of the board rich girl creating her own entertainment out of the people who surround her.