- HELEN (alto):
- JACK's former girlfriend, now a political staffer in Washington.
- SALLY (soprano):
- HELEN's sister, a school teacher in Las Vegas.
- JACK (tenor):
- HELEN's college boyfriend, now an Air Force pilot-instructor at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
- A well-worn Oxford Unabridged Dictionary.
- Two large blue vases, preferrably ugly, preferrably matching or similar.
HELEN has just come to Las Vegas for a few weeks to help with a political campaign. As it happens, her former college boyfriend, JACK, is a pilot-instructor out at Nellis Air Force Base. HELEN has invited JACK to lunch, and HELEN's sister SALLY arrives unexpectedly. JACK gets an unexpected phone call. Complications ensue.
Scene 1 - HELEN and SALLY
HELEN, who has just moved to Las Vegas to work on a political campaign, has invited JACK, her college boyfriend, to lunch in her new apartment ["2. THAT'LL BE JACK"]. JACK is a pilot/instructor at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. HELEN's sister SALLY, who teaches school in Las Vegas, arrives instead of JACK, to bring a blue vase as a house-warming gift. HELEN and SALLY reminisce about their childhood ["3. SISTERS ALWAYS WIN"], then talk of their current situations ["4. SO I STILL HAVE THE DICTIONARY"] and comment on their current lack of romance ["5. I GET BY"]. SALLY infers that HELEN has notions of JACK retiring from the Air Force for a political career, with HELEN behind-the-scenes ["6. WORK, WORK, WORK"]. SALLY sings a fragment of a song, "Arrows Arcing", that's popular with Air Force guys who congregate at a pizza shack, Ernies, near Nellis.
Scene 2 - JACK enters
JACK arrives ["7. HELEN! HELLO"]. JACK and SALLY find that they both know the song "Arrows Arcing". JACK says that all he does is fly, except for coaching a soccer team in a kids league. HELEN asks if he's taught them the "trout trick" tactic ["8. MAKE HIM WORK"] that he used in college. SALLY leaves for a dentist appointment ["9. THE TROUT TRICK"].
Scene 3 - HELEN and JACK
HELEN and JACK reminisce about their college days and college romance ["10. JACK, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU"], and recall the role that HELEN's Daisy Dukes and JACK's Speedos played in their romance ["11. GOOD BAIT"], and how they managed to get along in spite of being mis-matched ["12. THAT WAS US"].
Several days pass before the next scene ["13. INTERLUDE" instrumental].
Scene 4 - HELEN and SALLY
HELEN is again expecting JACK for lunch, and SALLY again arrives unexpectedly, with the twin of the blue vase ["14. THAT'LL BE JACK!"]. HELEN says that JACK still doesn't know what he might do after the Air Force. SALLY says a high school coaching job is open in the her school district. HELEN dismisses the idea.
Scene 5 - HELEN, SALLY, and JACK
JACK arrives ["15. HI, HELEN, HI, SALLY"], and HELEN and SALLY suggest whimsical jobs he might consider, such as Walmart Greeter ["16. IT'S A JOB"]. SALLY leaves ["17. MAYBE YOU COULD BE A NAVY PILOT"].
Scene 6 - HELEN and JACK
HELEN and JACK talk about the possible political career HELEN had mentioned ["18. WELL, JACK"], and they both realize it would be very different from their college romance ["19. I KNEW YOU" and "20. WE HAD TO LET EACH OTHER BE"], and that their college romance is a closed chapter ["21. YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN" and "22. STORIES ALWAYS END"]. They note that JACK is still going to need a new job ["23. WELL, JACK, YOU STILL NEED A JOB"]
Scene 7 - HELEN, SALLY, and JACK
SALLY returns, and asks to borrow the blue vases for a dinner party [24. WHO COULD THAT BE"]. She asks about JACK's plans for a job, possibly the political career HELEN had suggested. HELEN and JACK indicate that they decided against the political career. JACK says he won't start thinking about a new job until he gets his soccer team through the finals. HELEN looks from SALLY to JACK, and realizes that they are a "possibility". She suggests the high school coaching job SALLY had spoken of, but JACK dismisses the idea. HELEN agrees with JACK, that high school coacing is a lousy job, while she signals to SALLY that she's using the "trout trick". HELEN and SALLY then begin ridiculing high school coaching, and JACK responds by defending it as a valuable service. The more HELEN and SALLY dismiss the job, the more JACK defends it, until he finally decides to take it. ["25. TROUT TRICK TRIO"].
SALLY and JACK prepare to leave to check with the athletic director in the Northeast School District. HELEN gives SALLY and JACK a series of meddling suggestions that show that HELEN knows that SALLY and JACK are destined for one another. ["26. THIS JOB, HIGH SCHOOL COACH"], and they all sing the finale ["27. ARROWS ARCING"].
- The running time is 1 hour 25 minutes, plus pauses between numbers.
- Arrows takes place entirely in HELEN's new Las Vegas apartment. The minimal furnishings are the Oxford Unabridged Dictionary and a table to put it on. A picture window with a view of Las Vegas would be nice, if some sort of projection (or webcam?) could be arranged.
- HELEN, SALLY, and JACK are in their twenties or early thirties. SALLY would more naturally be the younger sister.
Click on a song name for the Virtual Singer generated MP3 demo of the song. See Notes on the demo recordings for a description of those demos.
SCENE 1: HELEN AND SALLY SCENE 2: HELEN, SALLY, and JACK SCENE 3: HELEN AND JACK SCENE 4: HELEN AND SALLY SCENE 5: HELEN, SALLY, and JACK SCENE 6: HELEN and JACK SCENE 7: HELEN, JACK, and SALLY
SCENE 1: HELEN AND SALLY
SCENE 2: HELEN, SALLY, and JACK
SCENE 3: HELEN AND JACK
SCENE 4: HELEN AND SALLY
SCENE 5: HELEN, SALLY, and JACK
SCENE 6: HELEN and JACK
SCENE 7: HELEN, JACK, and SALLY