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Born Yesterday

By Garson Kanin

Directed by Judy Gentry

Fall 1978

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The vulgar, egotistic junkman Harry Brock has come to a swanky hotel in Washington to make crooked deals with government big-wigs. He has brought with him the charming but dumb ex-chorus girl Billie, whose lack of social graces embarrasses even Harry. Billie must be taught some of the amenities, and a few basic bits of information. The young, idealistic magazine reporter Paul Verrall, who has been investigating political skullduggery and is interested in Brock's activities, agrees for a salary, to educate Billie. He finds Billie has a natural honesty and a frank streak in her, and she begins to learn about history, politics, and what Harry really is and what he wants. At a dramatic moment she rebels against being merely a tool in Harry's crooked schemes and refuses to sign the documents which she has come to learn are part of an ambitious effort to defraud the public. This precipitates a crisis, as Billie readies to leave Harry for a new life of her own. Harry's reaction takes the only form he knows: physical violence. Billie now knows that she can no longer have anything to do with Brock, and realizes she and Paul have fallen genuinely in love. Just before she leaves Harry, she helps Paul get hold of incriminating documents of Harry's which will result in scandal and disaster. At the end, Paul and his promising pupil turn their backs on the anti-social and anti-democratic Brock and strike out on their own.

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service.

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