Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride is a short play for two actors, identified as Lady and Gentleman, dressed in “winter Dickensian,” sitting in a Victorian sleigh.  We hear music fading into the sound of sleigh bells as lights come up on them, and we can perhaps glimpse a snowing landscape in the background.  It is late on a dark winter’s day and Lady wonders why it isn’t colder and asks where they are going.  Gentleman tells her they are going over the river and through the woods to their grandmother’s house.  He says that he and Lady are kissing cousins.  She asks what happened yesterday and points out that the horse is not moving.  She says it only snows after an earthquake, that the snow lies on the ground and then suddenly everything shakes and seems to turn upside down and it’s snowing.  She says that they seem to be surrounded by glass.  She has a memory of being a child shaking a glass ball inside of which is a woman who looks very much like her riding in a sleigh.  The woman also has a memory of being a child shaking a glass ball.  Lady says the child outside the glass ball is a memory inside the head of another lady who is in the glass ball of another child.  Gentleman admits that he had seen a glass ball when he was a child but insists that he is sane and is not living inside a glass ball.  He says he is driving a sleigh, that his horse’s name is Dobbin, that they are going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house.  When they get there, he says, she will see that this has all been some sort of hallucination on her part.  He says they will find a glass ball on the table and shake it.  Suddenly, the lights move back and forth and up and down and the actors shake as if in an earthquake.  The shaking stops and Gentleman asks Lady if she is all right.  “Look,” she says, “it’s snowing.”  They look up into the falling snow as the light fades and goes out.  We hear the sound of sleigh bells in the darkness.

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