Plot


ACT I

scene 1

The lights come up as the alarm clock begins to ring. Travis (Walter Lee and Ruth’s 10 year old son) is asleep on the living room couch, the only bedroom he has. Ruth enters sleepily and tries to wake him up. After her 3rd attempt, Travis gets up groggily and goes into the bathroom which is in the hallway and is shared by the other tenants on the floor (unfortunately including the Johnsons down the hall). Ruth begins to make breakfast, soon realizing that Walter Lee is still not up and has to get to work on time. After a few attempts with her husband (a little less gently as she awoke Travis), Walter Lee is up. He stumbles out of the bedroom and grumpily snaps at Ruth about waking him up before the bathroom is free, until he remembers the check and his mood shifts. He asks if the check is coming and Ruth reiterates that it is not coming until Saturday, which is tomorrow. Walter notices something is wrong with Ruth because she seems extra intolerant this morning, but she assures him that she is only tired. Walter tries to be sweet with her and she blows him off (a window into what their relationship has been recently). Travis runs in to tell his father to hurry for the bathroom, and Walter Lee runs out. Travis sits down to eat his breakfast and asks Ruth about the check, which Ruth promptly tells him to forget about. He then asks Ruth for money; when she refuses, he plots other ways to get it until Ruth gets fed up and tells him to make his bed and go to school. Walter re-enters and gives Travis not only the money he was asking for, but also an extra 50 cents, which Ruth is not happy about.

Travis leaves and Walter begins to talk to Ruth about the business plan he, Willy Harris, and his friend Bobo came up with last night. He explains that the liquor store will cost $75,000, with the initial investment being $30,000. That means that each of them would put in $10,000, which is exactly how much insurance money they are getting tomorrow. He explains that

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