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

While Dr. Sloper and Catherine are in Europe for the winter, Morris Townsend (Mark Ohanesian) makes himself quite at home at Dr. Sloper's house, playing backgammon with the doctor's sister Lavinia Penniman (Karen Balaska). Dr. Austin Sloper (Konrad Rogowski), returning home with his daughter Catherine (Bianna Stronk), is not pleased to find that Catherine still loves Morris, whom the doctor is convinced is only interested in Catherine for her money.
Morris reveals his plan to elope with Catherine tomorrow.  She, now convinced that her father does not love her and never did, insists that Morris marry her tonight.  Morris agrees, sure that her father will reconcile after the wedding. But Morris, finding that Catherine is no longer interested in reconciling, does not show that night.  She is devastated, despite attempts to console her by Aunt Lavinia.
The doctor tells the servant, Mary O'Connor (Rayah Martin), Lavinia and Catherine about his failing health.
Catherine's cousin Marian Almond (Ashley Graham) tells Catherine that Morris borrowed money from her and her husband two days ago and has left for "the West.". Catherine tells her father that the marriage is off.  He congratulates her on her wise decision, until she admits that Morris jilted her.  She lashes out at her father for destroying her only chance at happiness.
It is two years later on a warm summer evening.  Dr. Sloper has died and Catherine is now lady of the house. Morris, having failed out West, returns to Washington Square to beg forgivness from Catherine.  He still loves her and wants to marry her.
Catherine agrees and tells Morris to pack his bags and get the carriage.  But when Morris returns, Catherine refuses to answer the door and forbids anyone else in the house to do so.  She douses the lights, closes the curtains and retires upstairs, ignoring Morris' frantic pounding.  Alas, her father's cold heart is also part of her inheritance.


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