The Best Tea Party

place: an old town

time: now

CHARACTERS:

CARETAKER

MILDRED CUNKLE

DELORES

SNOW WHITE

VICTORIA

There is a 1930s Victorian mansion that has been a bed and breakfast for many years. Weary travelers stop by for its renowned Tea Parties and world-class tea, clotted cream, and scones. Rumor has it that the old mansion is haunted and that sometimes, Tea Partiers’ wishes come true.

CARETAKER

Wow, these scones look delicious, the clotted cream simply divine, and the tea an especially magnificent brew today. I sure hope some weary travelers stop by and enjoy this scrumptious eating experience.

Mildred Cunkle, a cranky old woman, enters.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Not very nice in here, very old, I don’t see what I’m doing here, but I am in need of a resting spot and a cuppa, I guess it’ll do.

CARETAKER

Hello, ma’am. Welcome to the Thorverton Arms. How may I help you today?

MILDRED CUNKLE

Is this your establishment? It could use a new coat of paint and some better rugs. That library you have over there also looks very unsatisfactory.

CARETAKER

Forgive me, this bed and breakfast is quite old, but I assure you, quite good.

MILDRED CUNKLE

I’m looking for a place to stay and some refreshments. I was visiting my ungrateful daughter and her brood and I just had to get out of there.

CARETAKER

I understand. Have a seat and I’ll be right with you.

The Caretaker leaves. There is a knock at the door. Mildred looks perplexed. Another knock, and Mildred turns annoyed.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Madam! Madam! Someone is at the door! Psh, old women, so useless.

Mildred gets out of her chair and crankily walks to the door. She opens it and in bursts a singing Victoria and her dancing back-up dancer, Delores.

MILDRED CUNKLE (CONT’D)

Gah, singing! Why do you insist upon assaulting my ears?

VICTORIA

I’m Victoria!

DELORES

And I’m Dancing Delores, Victoria’s back-up dancer!

MILDRED CUNKLE

Hmph. What brings you to this bed and breakfast?

VICTORIA

The tea party!

DELORES

Yes, we have heard great things. We are on a very successful concert tour. But we need a break, so we’re here for the tea party.

MILDRED CUNKLE

I suppose I could stand to have a few strangers at my table. Where did that batty old lady run off to? I’m ready for my tea.

Suddenly, Snow White runs into the room.

DELORES

Hey, it’s Snow White. What are you doing here?

SNOW WHITE

It’s raining out.

DELORES

You can join our tea party.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Goodness, do they just let anybody in here? Caretaker, I’m ready for my tea! The service here is so terrible, you’d think we were dining at the local Friendly’s.

SNOW WHITE

I’m hungry.

The Caretaker enters with a tray full of tea, scones, and clotted cream.

CARETAKER

Here we are, a traditional English afternoon tea.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Finally! I’m practically wasting away over here.

VICTORIA

That looks good.

DELORES

Are those blueberry scones?

CARETAKER

Yes, and we also have chocolate and apricot and strawberry scones as well. They’re so good, some have said they’re almost magical.

The Caretaker leaves in a suspicious fashion.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Well, magic or not, I’m ready to dig in.

They all pick their scones and drink their tea.

VICTORIA

Delicious!

SNOW WHITE

The tea is very good. (Snow White notices that Delores looks sad.) Why are you sad?

DELORES

Don’t tell Victoria, but I really want to go solo. I am ready to take the world by storm.

SNOW WHITE

I am sad too. I really want a tan.

DELORES

You are very pale. Is that why you were outside?

SNOW WHITE

Yes. I wanted to be in the sun.

DELORES

Maybe you could be my tour manager. We can perform on a cruise. You can get a tan. But how do I tell Victoria?

Victoria is singing to herself. Mildred is, as usual, annoyed.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Would you please keep it down to a dull roar? I am trying to enjoy my tea.

VICTORIA

But I want to sing!

MILDRED CUNKLE

And I want to sit in silence.

VICTORIA

Why are you so cranky?

MILDRED CUNKLE

How dare you. I am perfectly lovely.

VICTORIA

You’re cranky. Are you sad?

MILDRED CUNKLE

I am not sad. Or at least, I try not to be.

VICTORIA

What?

MILDRED CUNKLE

I admit that long ago, I had something that made me very happy. But it is gone now, and there is nothing I can do about it.

VICTORIA

What was it?

MILDRED CUNKLE

My husband, Thomas William Vanderbilt the third. We were very happy, but one day the army called him up and shipped him overseas. I myself had to move because my father got a new job and without Facebook, I was unable to ever find him again. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, perhaps there is something in this tea that has made me unusually chatty. Is there anything you want that you feel you can’t have?

VICTORIA

I want to act.

MILDRED CUNKLE

But you’ve got that Delores as a back-up dancer, and I suppose you don’t want to leave her without a job.

VICTORIA

Yes.

MILDRED CUNKLE

You an actress, me to once again see my Thomas William Vanderbilt the third, so many things in life we just cannot have.

DELORES

Excuse me. Did you say Thomas William Vanderbilt the third?

MILDRED CUNKLE

Indeed I did. What say you?

DELORES

He is my uncle! He lives on a farm with pigs and horses and sheep.

MILDRED CUNKLE

We always wanted a farm! Where is he?

DELORES

Wait- is your name Mildred Cunkle?

MILDRED CUNKLE

What? Yes. How could you have possibly known that?

DELORES

He has told me how much he misses you. He did not know how to find you, though. I can bring you to him.

MILDRED CUNKLE

Oh, Delores, how you have turned my life around. How can I ever thank you?

DELORES

I don’t think there’s anything you can do to make me happy. Unless you own a cruise ship.

MILDRED CUNKLE

But that is the job our family moved for. My father founded Cunkle Cruise Lines. We are always looking for new entertainers, if you would like to join us.

DELORES

Yay! But wait, I could never leave Victorious.

VICTORIA

I want to act.

DELORES

That’s perfect. I can dance on the cruise. But Snow White has to come with me now. She’s my manager.

SNOW WHITE

Yes, I need to be on that ship and get my cut. I mean support my client. Did someone say something about scones?

MILDRED CUNKLE

Why of course. You can help out and enjoy the free vacations and Victoria can pursue an acting career.

VICTORIA

Yay!

MILDRED CUNKLE

Who would have thought, all of our dreams coming true all because of a Tea Party.

VICTORIA

This was the best tea party ever.

DELORES

More tea, please!

Blackout. End of play.