Aliki Chapple, July 2007
A performance for two actors
The actor playing the VOICE is seated DSC, with her back to the
audience, relaxed. Centre Stage, a chair and a desk set with as
small round mirror and an assortment of makeup. DSR a pair of
high-heeled shoes, toes towards the audience, DSL a pair of men’s
dress shoes. House lights dim but stay on. MUSIC begins. The actor
playing the BODY enters, rolling a clothes rail with a dress and a
suit on it. She leaves the clothes rail USR and gets the chair from
the desk , placing it next to the high-heeled shoes. She is wearing a
black T-shirt and trousers, which she takes off and places on the
back of the chair.
When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys.
Everybody said I only did it to annoy
But I was gonna be an engineer
Mamma said, "Why can't you be a lady?
Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
Wait until you're older, dear
And maybe you'll be glad that you're a girl.
Dainty as a Dresden statue, gentle as a Jersey cow,
Smooth as silk, gives cream and milk
Learn to coo, learn to moo
That's what you do to be a lady, now.
She takes a pair of tights from the clothes rail, sits in the chair and
begins to wear them. MUSIC stops. VOICE begins reading from a
script. As VOICE speaks, BODY wears tights and shoes, then the
dress from the costume rail. She takes the chair to the desk, sits
down and begins making up her face.
The first time I cut my hair short I was 11. I went to France on an exchange
trip, and a guard tried to stop me entering the women’s toilets at the Louvre.
When we met our host families, the daughter of mine said “But we asked for a
girl!” I was a disappointment to her in every way, I didn’t know anything
about pop groups or what American girls were wearing and spent most of that
long month reading her brother’s comic books.
It’s not exactly that I wanted to be a boy, growing up, it’s more