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The Heiress, April 26, 2005 -- dress rehearsal, Act One

The Sloper home on Washington Square.  The head servant Mary O'Connor (Rayah Martin) opens the curtains.
Dr. Austin Sloper (Konrad Rogowski) gives Mary last-minute instructions before the guests arrive. Austin's sister Lavinia Penniman (Karen Balaska) delights in all she has seen so far on her trip to visit her brother.  Austin invites her to spend the winter.
Dr. Sloper's daughter Catherine (Brianna Stronk) shows her aunt her new dress.  Lavinia praises it, but the doctor thinks that whereas her mother could pull off wearing a dress of that color, Catherine cannot.
Lavinia and Austin frame the next generation: Arthur Townsend (Joshua Guenter), betrothed to Austin's niece Marian Almond (Ashley Graham), Catherine, and Arthur's cousin Morris Townsend (Mark Ohanesian) who, it seems, is very taken with Catherine.
With Lavinia and the young folk in the parlor, Dr. Sloper tells his other sister Elizabeth Almond (Laura Randall) that he is extremely disappointed that Catherine is so un-like her mother. Dr. Sloper disapproves of the amount of time Morris spends with Catherine.  He considers Morris a fortune-hunter and is not shy about saying so.
Morris is undetered and overwhelms Catherine by asking her to marry him. Catherine shares the good news with her aunt Lavinia.
Lavinia is thrilled by this announcement.  The doctor is not. He tries to dissuade his daughter, saying he is only looking out for her interests.
In order to confirm his suspicions, Dr. Sloper requests the presence of Morris' sister Mrs. Montgomery (Kelly Seip) to learn how Morris conducts his financial affairs.


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