The Play

(Survey of Dramatic Literature)

In this two-act play, a group of lesbians who meet every summer at an isolated beach resort, Bluefish Cove, find their vacation unsettled by two events. First is the fact that Lil, a popular woman in the group of friends, is suffering from terminal cancer. Second is the arrival of Eva Margolis, a heterosexual woman who has just left her husband and is unaware that the cabin she has rented is intended for lesbians who value their privacy.

As act 1 opens, Lil stands on the beach in front of a one-room rustic cabin. She talks aloud to a bluefish she is trying to catch with bait and tackle, and her amusing monologue captures the attention of Eva, who approaches and listens, then strikes up a conversation. Lil is at once attracted to Eva, but Eva does not know that Lil is a lesbian, and the opening dialogue is a comedy of misunderstanding before Lil realizes Eva is heterosexual. By this time, Lil has already invited Eva to a party that night at her cabin, and though she warns Eva that she “might feel out of place,” Eva insists on coming, believing that it will be a party of married couples.

Later, Kitty, Rita, Annie, and Rae prepare for the party and discuss the possible threat of Eva’s arrival to their happy summer. Kitty, a medical doctor and recent author of a self-help book titled The Female Sexual Imperative, is alarmed that Eva will reveal to the outside world that Kitty is a lesbian, a fact which could make her lose her credibility and ruin her writing career. The others reassure her that everything will be fine. Annie steps outside to speak with Lil, who is cleaning the fish she has caught, and their conversation reveals that Lil has devoted little commitment to her past relationships, while Annie has been happily “married” to Rae for nine years. When Eva arrives for the party, everyone is nervous, but Eva at once says that...

(The entire section is 764 words.)