Act 1, Scenes 1–2

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Scene 1

It is February, and Becca, a woman in her late thirties, is folding laundry in her house. Her sister, Izzy, is telling her a story about an incident she recently experienced at a bar.

Izzy tells Becca a random woman approached her and started yelling about a man. Izzy didn’t know who the woman was or the man in question. Becca doesn’t believe Izzy is innocent in this situation, so she asks clarifying questions to determine the truth. It becomes clear that Izzy does know the woman’s boyfriend, Auggie, but it’s unclear how she knows him.

Izzy tells Becca she felt trapped at the bar, and the only thing she could think to do was fight. She punched the woman in the face. Becca is shocked and appalled by her sister’s behavior, which causes a pause in their dialogue. Becca tells Izzy she’s worried about her and says, “I thought you were getting it together.” She questions Izzy about being “on something,” but Izzy swears she is and was clean and sober. Becca wants Izzy, who is now in her early thirties, to grow up, but Izzy says she’s still “coping.” This comment infuriates Becca. Becca tells Izzy she can’t use “him” as an excuse.

The conversation comes to a halt when Izzy goes in search of food. Wanting to ensure Izzy eats a proper snack, Becca offers to make her creme caramel. In the process, she asks Izzy about work. After Izzy reveals she was fired from Applebees, more silence ensues in the kitchen as Izzy eats and Becca cleans.

Izzy brings up the bar story again, and Becca wonders if the woman will press charges. Izzy says no and that the woman recently moved out of Auggie’s home. Becca is confused by this comment and becomes convinced Izzy is at fault. Izzy is frustrated by the accusations but finally reveals that she is sleeping with Auggie. Izzy tries to defend herself by saying the relationship between Auggie and the woman was over before they started sleeping together; they were only living together because of the rent. However, Izzy reveals she is pregnant, hence the reason for the accosting at the bar. Now Becca realizes the true meaning of her sister’s visit.

Becca is shocked and repeats the phrase “Oh my God” multiple times. Her disapproval and lack of support upsets Izzy. Izzy tells Becca that Auggie is a great guy and a working musician. They are both excited about the baby, so Izzy asks Becca to be happy for her, even if it’s a lie. She doesn’t want to hear any more judgment and tells Becca this baby could turn her life around. Becca changes her tone and says she’s happy for Izzy. The tension is cut when the two hug.

The women’s attention shifts back to Becca’s laundry—a pile of clothes for a four-year-old boy. Becca was planning on giving the items to Goodwill, but this news changes her plans and the mood. Becca offers to save the clothes for Izzy in her basement until the time is right, but this suggestion makes Izzy uncomfortable. As the sisters continue to talk, Izzy says it would be weird “to see [her child] running around in Danny’s clothes.” Becca agrees and decides to stick with her plan of giving the pile to Goodwill. They break the unexplained tension by discussing the probability of Izzy having a boy or a girl. Both women hope Izzy has a girl. The scene ends with Izzy apologizing for bad timing and Becca supporting Izzy’s happiness.

Scene 2

In the living room,...

(This entire section contains 1198 words.)

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Becca and her husband, Howie, are eating dessert and discussing Izzy’s pregnancy. Becca is disgusted by the fact that Izzy was at a bar when she was nine weeks pregnant, but Howie defends Izzy, agreeing with Izzy’s perspective that this baby could get her back on track. As Becca continues to harshly judge her sister’s behavior, Howie calmly redirects all of her arguments, reminding Becca that they have no control over the situation; they can only hope this will help Izzy in the long run. To break the tension, Howie shifts the conversation toward the creme caramel.

Becca mentions that her mother called to talk about the baby and Izzy’s upcoming birthday. Excited about the baby, her mother made a list of items Izzy will need, but Becca wants to hold off on gifts until the baby shower. Becca brings up her proposed birthday gift. She plans on giving Izzy a bathroom set containing a shower curtain, bathmat, and other matching necessities. Howie thinks this gift is odd, suggesting Izzy would probably like something more personal, but Becca disagrees. Howie redirects the conversation with a smile. Becca stops talking and smiles back.

Howie dims the lights and plays some music. They sit together on the couch with a glass of wine, and Becca asks Howie about his day. Howie spent the day playing squash with his friend Rick. Becca asks about Rick’s wife, Debbie, but Debbie wasn’t mentioned during their game. Howie suggests she reach out to Debbie, but Becca feels Debbie disappeared and should call her first. Howie says Debbie probably doesn’t know what to say, just like his brother at the funeral. It is revealed that Becca and Howie’s son, Danny, recently died.

Becca becomes tense, so Howie begins to massage her shoulders. He tells her to release the issues with Izzy, Debbie, and the rest of the world. Becca can’t seem to let anything go, so Howie says they should take a vacation as he kisses her neck. Becca playfully ends this loving behavior, not wanting to be seduced by Howie. She says she needs to finish packing up the rest of the clothing. Howie opens up a conversation about how they haven’t had sex in eight months and how things aren’t magically going to be normal again. They need to work together to make a new normal. Becca brings up their son’s death and says she simply isn’t ready.

Howie mentions a support group where Becca could speak to others about her grief. He even offers to go with her, but Becca refuses. She changes the subject by saying she wants to sell the house because it’s too hard to be home all day with the memories. Howie doesn’t want to move and suggests she go back to work, but it seems Becca doesn’t connect to that identity anymore. He also mentions the possibility of having another child, but this completely shuts Becca down. She heads upstairs to pack the rest of Danny’s things.

Downstairs, Howie retrieves a videotape from the TV cabinet and begins to watch it in the dark. The audience cannot see the tape, but they can hear the sound. Danny and Howie are talking to each other. Danny tells Howie he has magical abilities and makes himself invisible. Unknown to Howie, Becca listens at the top of the stairs for a few moments as the tape plays.


Act 1, Scenes 3–4