Comedy/Drama. By E.P. Conkle.
Cast: 6w., 1 either gender.
Similar to nearly all his plays¸ The Jewel in Papa’s Crown is in the E.P. Conkle tradition of folk drama. With the same insight that has made his No Time for Heaven an important and poignant work¸ Conkle develops the theme of love versus greed in this gem of a short play.
The five daughters of Wardour Grassmere¸ deceased¸ have gathered to hear the lawyer read their father’s will. Full of greedy anticipation¸ each is afraid that the others will receive more than their share of his estate. Over in a corner sits a young girl¸ perhaps 12 to 15 years old. The sisters stare at her¸ wondering why she’s here. The first bequest is $500 cash for the girl. Well¸ that’s a paltry sum¸ the sisters agree—but why would he leave it to her? ... Who is she anyway? As the rest of the will is read¸ it seems that each daughter has shared equally in their father’s considerable wealth. Each expresses her love and joy as fabulous legacies are announced. But then—an unexpected development! Mutual hatred flares when they realize their father died penniless—except for the $500. The girl¸ daughter of his long-time housekeeper¸ is helped from the room by the lawyer who calls her “the jewel in Papa’s crown.”