Video Excerpt from The Children’s Teeth (Ellie and Blanche)

Relevant Excerpt:

The outside child of Neville Williams returns to the house where she was raised — by Ellie, Neville’s wife, who took her in — and Ellie’s mother, Blanche, gives her a piece of her mind. In this clip, Ellie responds to her mother. It’s the end of Act I, Scene i.

BLANCHE
Nursing viper in your bosom. I tell you Ellie, you let trouble under your roof and trouble take up residence big big, I tell you that. You see? I swear by these my last years, you take this back in today you digging your own grave far as I concern and you ga have to live in it. You hear me? I’s your mother but you would be dead far as I concern if you take this house, the only thing you got to hand your children, and give it to the outside child. You hear me?

DONNIE
This my house too. I got every right to be here.

BLANCHE
Ya pa dead! You een get no right to set foot in here no more.

DONNIE
I get a letter right here to prove it.

ELLIE
Letter?

DONNIE
From a lawyer. Saying Daddy leave me part of this house.

NEVILLE
Damn straight.

BLANCHE
Greedy twoface…

DONNIE
Like you ever did anything for him! You’n got no right to judge me!

BLANCHE
Well, damn!

DONNIE
Where the phone? I need to call a taxi.

BLANCHE
Carry your hip!

JEFF
I’ll carry you.
DONNIE
No. I cause enough trouble for one day.
(JEFF collects DONNIE’S bags from their place in STACEY’S room.)

BLANCHE
Jeff, you— Jeff! JEFF!

JEFF
(Moves towards the exit with the bags)
Come, Donnie.

BLANCHE
Ellie, ya see? Ya see? You see how this child get alla yinna running round her like you was the Haitian and she was somebody? Is the same thing all over again. From the day she set foot in that door. She like she pull her panty over yinna head.

ELLIE
All right!! Thas enough. Momma, you is a old woman, and you did raise me from small, and I never had one reason to complain bout anything you do for me but one. But lemme just tell you this one time. When I marry Neville I marry him for me. I take him for better and for worse, in sickness in health, and I keep my vow. For me. I’n care what anyone else do, I make my vow and I keep it. And if that mean taking in his child when she’n got nowhere else to go I do that too, because I love him. Donnie is his child and when her mother leave her high and dry she become my child. I do that for him. So let me just say this once. If I want bring Donnie back into this house what Neville Williams build for me and his family, I don’t care if you is the Almighty come down off the cross, I don’t care if you have a stroke and die on the spot, you understand, I ga do it. Because this is his house and she is his child. You hear me? So now we ga have this party for you and I ga feed all your cantankerous friends, and I ga smile up in they face and quarm and pretend like I like them cause you is my ma. That is what we ga do this afternoon, and you ga sit right there and smile too. You understand me? So you just put on your happy face and act like you glad you turning eighty-four and thank Jesus he’n call you yet and enjoy this party I slave over, and when I ready I ga take care of Neville daughter just like I promise. Donnie, child, take care, and call me. Stacey, go get the potato salad and put out some plate. Jeff, you hurry back, hear? People coming any minute and I ga be damn if I’n ready for them when they come.
(They all stare at her. The doorbell rings. Blackout.)