A life-threatening tropical storm is approaching Babarashlava Towers. Seven inhabitants in the building will die: Nadezhda Dokhorova, Nadezhda Ignatyeva, Nadezhda Sakharova, Nadezhda Nekrasova, Nadezhda Vavilova, Nadezhda Essena, and Nadezhda Shigina. Soon to be aware of this unfortunate fact, the seven gather together in the Grand Room to part ways. Your task is to identify and match the voices to their respective Nadezhdy.

 

Scene 1

 

Enter Nadezhda and Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Itís only you. Where are the other Nadezhdy?

Nadezhda Late.

Nadezhda Hm. Did you hear?

Nadezhda Heard what?

Nadezhda The storm. What should you think we should do?

Nadezhda What do I think? Child, Iím 53 years old.

Pause.

Nadezhda Oh, right.

†††††† You meanÖ you canít think anymore?

Nadezhda laughs.

Nadezhda These things simply donít matter when youíre as old as me.

Enter Nadezhda.

Nadezhda What? Stop trying to confuse the poor child.

Nadezhda turns to Nadezhda.

You, too? You live by the salon on the ninth floor, donít you, Nadezhda?

Nadezhda Yes. My father and I live there. Youíre the lady who stops by to talk.

Nadezhda With your father Professor Dokhorov! Thatís me.

Ignatyeva How old do you think she is, child?

Nadezhda glares at Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Ignore her, Nadezhda.

Enter Nadezhda and Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Ignore what??

Nadezhda Wow, wow Ė look at this!

Nadezhda You two! Did you find my cat?

Nadezhda Iím afraid not, madame!

Nadezhda We looked all over Ė really Ė but we couldnít turn purple from red.

Nadezhda Itís a real tragedy, Nadezhda. It really is! There was this butcher who was telling me all about that time he saw Yaya in the playground but then watched her as she was snatched away by a kidnapper in orangeó

Nadezhda Iíve heard this before!

Nadezhda Right? The kidnapper slips on a juice box. But then Yaya runs away!

Nadezhda sobs. Nadezhda hugs her.

Nadezhda Anyway, soó

Enter Nadezhda.

Nadezhda It seems Iím late.

Pause.

Nadezhda It appears to be that way, yes.

Nadezhda No worries, no worries. I show up late to everything. Itís dramatic!

Nadezhda Ugh. I think itís much more dramatic to spook someone early.

Nadezhda But lateness is flexible.

Nadezhda Flexible?

Nadezhda Enough, you two!

Nadezhda Nekrasova Ė werenít you missing something?

Nadezhda turns around.

Nadezhda Oh, my cat?

Nadezhda Hm, is that what it was? Iím sorry to hear that.

Nadezhda But weíre so close! If we can just reach out a little bit moreó

Nadezhda Quit dreaming! You spent five hours sniffing bricks in an alley. Youíve lost your mind, Sakharova.

Nadezhda The mark of a genius.

†††††† Nadezhda looks at Nadezhda, squinting her eyes as she shakes her head.

Nadezhda Yes, and messing with innocent children is a mark of sanity.

Nadezhda You donít think Iím 53?

Nadezhda I donít think so. Youíre not very tall.

†††††† Nadezhda looks aside to Nadezhda, surprised with her interjection.

Nadezhda Tall?

Nadezhda Yes. Then you wouldnít fit in this room. Maybe.

They all laugh as Nadezhda shakes her head.

Enter Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Looks like everyone is here!

The Nadezhdy turn to Nadezhda. Nadezhda smiles.

Nadezhda Iím assuming everybody here received their memos. Any questions?

Nadezhda Yes Ė lots. JustÖ what is this about?

Nadezhda You six have been called here today because the storm that each of your letters reference Ė Nadezhda points to ďstormĒ on her own card Ė will cause a calamity. But how terrible the damage done may be depends on you six and how you react.

Nadezhda Is this an experiment?

Nadezhda smiles.

Nadezhda Have you ever felt one-dimensional?

Nadezhda Hm. I have always felt like my words are spoken for me.

Nadezhda Question answered!

Nadezhda tilts her head.

Nadezhda This does feel awfully spatchcocked.

†††††† Nadezhda laughs.

Nadezhda With all of our questions answered, I will now hand out the cards.

†††††† Nadezhda and Nadezhda look at each other.

†††††† Nadezhda hands a card to each Nadezhda present.

†††††† Now, hold still. You will be able to look at your cards very shortly, but I must first explain the selcouth situation you have found yourself in. Wonder! Excitement! Deception! Truth! Isnít it wonderful?

Nadezhda I donít get it.

Nadezhda Because we live such stadial lives, we should dedicate ourselves to the miasma of entertainment!

Nadezhda Sakha, I donít know if I like how she says that.

Nadezhda Hm. Then, Vavi, about things we do like: is it us we like more or the story we like more?

Nadezhda and Nadezhda turn to each other.

Nadezhda and Nadezhda together We like the story more.

†††††† They laugh.

Nadezhda Iím not dedicating myself to anything. I have a life to live Ė just what is all this about? What storm?

Nadezhda Yes Ė tell us more about the storm. Urgent, is it?

Nadezhda Oh, but itís ever-the-more urgent. That storm mentioned in the memos I sent out will be fatal. There will be no survivors among you.

Nekrasova Is this a joke?

Nadezhda Please open your cards.

Nadezhda This is just like a game show.

Nadezhda Now.

The Nadezhdy open their cards. The atmosphere grows darker.

†††††† The lights turn off.

†††††† Sounds are heard. Feet scuffling, doors opening, chairs creaking, and the ceiling fan being turned on are among those that are discernible.

 

Scene 2

 

Exit Nadezhda, Nadezhda, Nadezhda, Nadezhda and Nadezhda.

Enter Nadezhda.

The lights turn back on.

Nadezhda They all left.

Nadezhda It looks like they did.

†††††† But thereís nowhere to go.

Nadezhda Yeah.

†††††† Nadezhda begins to cry.

Nadezhda This is too cruel for you, Nadezhda.

†††††† Nadezhda tears up as she embraces Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Miss Nekrasova, Iím hungry.

†††††† Nadezhda pauses.

Nadezhda Iím sure thereís something for you here.

Nadezhda smiles. Nadezhda reaches into a cabinet and brings out lingonberry cookies.

†††††† Your parents wouldnít really like this, but I guess cookies are all we have!

Enter Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Oh, no, no! Donít eat that.

Nadezhda Huh?

Nadezhda Theyíre poisoned.

Nadezhda spins around to face Nadezhda.

Nadezhda What?

Nadezhda Sheís right. I saw Nekrasova rush over to that cabinet as the lights dimmed.

Nadezhda Are you sure?

†††††† Nadezhda looks at Nadezhda curiously.

Nadezhda I think so.

Nadezhda Itís not good to lie like that, Ignatyeva.

Nadezhda Iím sorry.

†††††† Nadezhda looks at Nadezhda.

†††††† It was assumptuous of me to say that, Nekrasova.

†††††† Nadezhda smiles.

Nadezhda Itís no trouble. But how do we know the cookies are poisoned?

†††††† Nadezhda puts her hand in her pocket. She pulls out a ceramic jar.

Nadezhda Look inside.

Nadezhda Where did you find this?

†††††† Nadezhda takes off the lid and peers into the jar.

Nadezhda It was put in my pocket when the lights turned off.

Nadezhda But how did you know it was poison?

Nadezhda She didnít.

Nadezhda Excitement. Itís exciting that way.

†††††† Nadezhda gasps.

Nadezhda Youíre too much!

†††††† She laughs.

Nadezhda But not too much for Nadezhda, is it?

†††††† Nadezhda, Nadezhda, and Nadezhda turn around.

†††††† I canít believe you all! Especially you!

†††††† I heard everything behind the couch.

Nadezhda turns to Nadezhda.

Weíre not friends anymore, got it?

And youó

She walks up to Nadezhda.

She turns around and faces Nadezhda.

Iím not playing your go-along game.

Now Iím taking what is mine and running out of here!

She grabs Nadezhda by the collar and tries to drag her away.

Nadezhda What are you doing?

Nadezhda Nadezhda Sakharova, I need to have a word with you!

Exit Nadezhda and Nadezhda.

†††††† Nadezhda smiles at Nadezhda.

†††††† She smiles back.

Exit Nadezhda.

 

Scene 3

 

Parallel to Scene 2.

Enter Nadezhda and Nadezhda.

Nadezhda The Left Chamber?

Nadezhda Thatís right.

Nadezhda Make up your mind.

†††††† Nadezhda scrunches her face in disapproval.

Nadezhda What of it, Essena?

Nadezhda Essena? Are you playing games with me?

Nadezhda I wouldnít dream of it.

Nadezhda Youíre rotten. I know you stole my jewelry, too.

†††††† Nadezhda feels a sharp edge enter her stomach.

†††††† She collapses.

Exit Nadezhda.

 

Scene 4

 

Enter Nadezhda.

Nadezhda And thatís it!

Enter Nadezhda, Nadezhda, Nadezhda, Nadezhda, and Nadezhda.

Nadezhda Oh, my eburnean heart! Someone isnít here!

 

†††††† Questions:

1) †Who isnít here?

2) †Who are the two Nadezhdy that open the play?

3) †Which two Nadezhdy have the closest relationship?

4) †Who first claims that the cookies are poisoned?

5) †Who is the worst deceiver in Scene 2?

††††††

 

††††††