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Trophy Wives
School for Trophy Wives


ABOUT THE PLAY

SCHOOL FOR TROPHY WIVES is loosely based on Molière’s L’Ecole des Femmes. It is set in present day Hollywood, with all the accompanying glitz, glamour, and garishness we have come to know and spoof in Tinseltown. In this version, Arnolphe is Arnie, a Hollywood producer who has finally made it big after years of clawing his way to the top. He now wants to settle down with a wife and kids. He is MUCH older than his protégée Agnes, whom he found on a farm when she was 4, “adopted” as his ward, and raised, until he realizes, at her graduation, that she would be a perfect wife for him. Having made fun of his colleagues and all their trophy wives over the years, he must take special care that no whiff of scandal will ever hit him from the cover of People Magazine or the Hollywood Reporter, and that his wife will never adhere to the “trophy standards” his friends have had to deal with. Which is where Molière comes in.

Basically the plot is the same, with some adjustments to resonate more clearly to a 21st-century audience. Enrique, a Deus ex machina who turns out to be Agnes’ father, is now Eve, Agnes’ long lost mother. (Freyda refuses to adapt or write any play that has a 7/2 split between the male and female characters.) Alain and Georgette, the prototype commedia servants in the original, are now Alón and Jorjina, two Hispanics who have been Arnie’s longtime factota. But they are much more clever than their employer and ultimately resolve the story, with the help of Chris, Arnie’s colleague. There are more farcical moments in the play, where we see the action instead of hearing about it (as Molière did in his original). The entire play takes place poolside on Arnie’s patio, with his neighbor’s house in partial view, where the sweet and innocent Agnes is confined, awaiting the wedding day.

 

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

 

ARNIE (PHIL FORREST) - A Hollywood producer (50s)
AGNES - His ward, 17
HAL - A young suitor to Agnes (20s)
CHRIS - Arnie’s friend and the voice of reason (50s)
ALÓN - A Hispanic, longtime factotum to Arnie (30s and up)
JORJINA (Hor-heena) - His wife (30s and up)
EVE - Agnes’ long lost mother (40s)
RON - Hal’s father, a friend of Arnie’s (50s)


 

SCENE SAMPLE

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OPTION: Prior to curtain rise, all the actors cross the stage, back and forth, with various movie set props. No dialogue. When everyone clears, the actors playing ALON & JORJINA, enter with clapboards, stand down center and clap them together three times. From offstage we hear “AND ACTION!” The actors exit and the lights come on…

The patio of a sumptuous home in Bel Air (or Malibu). (OPTION: Over the top of the set we might see sound stage equipment, as though a movie was being made.) On the set, the predictable luxury abounds. We are poolside. A patio table and 4 chairs, a bar, a fridge. Piles of scripts everywhere. Budget permitting, a READER can enter, from time to time throughout the play, deposit a script, and pick up another. A fence, SR, separates ARNIE’S house from his neighbor’s. SR there is a façade of a balcony + 2 windows and, under it, the side door of his neighbor’s house. In it live three people—temporarily: ALON & JORJINA, ARNIE’s two factota, whose current job is to watch over AGNES, the strictly brought up young thing ARNIE plans to marry. Enter CHRIS, ARNIE’s writer/director/friend, just back from location. He looks around, sets down his suitcase and calls out.

CHRIS

Hello? Hello? Is anybody here?
Hey! Where did everybody disappear?

 (The door to the neighbor’s cottage opens and ALON & JORJINA enter.)

ALON

Holá!

JORJINA

Holá!

CHRIS

Holá!

ALON

It’s Señor Chris!

JORJINA

Yo se!

CHRIS

What’s going on? What did I miss?

ALON

A lot of stuff.

CHRIS

In two months since I’ve gone?

JORJINA

The boss, he’s loco.

CHRIS

Great. What’s going on?

ALON

You got to talk to him.

CHRIS

What can I do?

JORJINA

You are his friend. He have respect for you.

CHRIS

So, what’s the problem?

ALON
            (as AGNES wanders out on the balcony, looking for HAL)

Ella.

CHRIS

What a sight!
Who’s that?

ALON & JORJINA

His fiancée.

CHRIS

His what!!??

ALON

That’s right.
He want to marry her.

CHRIS

Her!?

JORJINA

Si.

CHRIS

Oy vey.

JORJINA

And he won’t hear a single thing we say.

CHRIS

What else is new?

JORJINA

Well, you know him. When he
Gets an idea, there’s no boundary
He won’t jump over to make it come true.
That’s why we called you back.

ALON

Si. We need you.

JORJINA

Alón! He’s coming! Shh!
(ALON & JORJINA run back into the neighbor’s house as CHRIS puts down his things and goes to the bar to mix drinks. ARNIE enters, talking on his cell phone, cigar, sunglasses, shorts, the whole Hollywood regalia. He sits on the lounge chair as he continues his conversation. CHRIS points to the bottle, ARNIE nods to him.)