A Short Play in One Act

(The Scene is the most important office in University hall. A harried-looking dean, a friendly man of undetermined age, paces nervously back and forth. The audience should know immediately that something is on his mind. Huddled in a corner is his secretary and Epstein's bust of Amy Lowell.)

Dean: They were in again this morning and presented me with an ultimatum: either the freshman smoker must be tamed down or else.

Secretary (haltingly): It may be presumptuous of me, sir, but I have an idea.

Dean: Yes? Yes?

secretary: I notice in the papers that Radcliffe girls are allowed to ask two extra young men to their formal dance.

Dean: I don't have time for riddles, Secretary. What's the connection?

Secretary: Now it seems to me that with those extra boys standing around all evening some of them are going to start talking to each other, introducing themselves, getting acquainted.

Dean: I will don't see

Secretary (warming to her subject): Let me finish. Isn't that what the smoker is for, after all, and here you get the same effect with no chance of a disturbance. Why, I've heard several students say that nothing untoward ever happens at a Radcliffe formal.

Dean: Interesting thought; yes, not bad. But impossible. Some of the young men are likely to talk to upperclassmen and ruin the solidarity which a smoker must have. Yes, that's the rub, there will be upperclassmen at the Radcliffe dance.

Secretary: Fat chance.

Dean (seriously caught now by the merit of her proposal): You just may have something. We could combine the Smoker and the Radcliffe Dance. And here's thought, we could even throw in the Straw Hat Ball.

Secretary (admiringly): What a mind!

Dean (stopping suddenly in the midst of his enthusiasm and staring at her): Secretary, take off your glasses.

Secretary does.)

Dean: You're beautiful. Will you go to the Radcliffe Formal with me.

Secretary (copy): It's the Freshman smoker now.

(They laugh heartily and in the background the bust of Amy Lowell winks at the audience as the curtain falls.)