Write an additional scene about a chance encounter between Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire and Laura from Glass Menagerie. Explore the similarities between the two characters and how they have ended up in their current circumstances.

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New Orleans Psychiatric institution, communal dining area. At first glance you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a county jail, or a particularly dilapidated high school. The huge hall is filled with long, narrow tables and little else. In a place such as this, social conventions become irrelevant. Perched on the squat little seats that line the tables one finds a representation of all humanity. At the furthest table a fight breaks out between two women, one white and the other coloured, but a staff member throws himself between them like a referee, ceasing the ephemeral tensions. Prejudices are a luxury reserved for the outside world.  

It is noon, and the delicate sunlight filters through the high, barred windows. This light is added to by the incessant glare of the many fluorescent bulbs that line the ceiling, reflecting off the white-washed walls to create an almost blinding level of clarity. Nothing can be hidden from the surveying gaze of the stern matrons. Here, adults are reduced to a child-like state, for that is all they have the capacity for. Nothing can be done without permission; the patients are restricted to the point of incarceration.

A cacophonous din fills the air as the day’s sustenance is served, the commotion reverbed by the immense cave-like ceiling. Clangs of bashing cutlery and the shuffling of seats accompany the serving of an ambiguous-looking meat with limp vegetables.

        Screen legend – Southern Belle

[Enter BLANCHE. She hurries to her seat, late as usual due to the untoward amount of time she requires to get ready. She wears a white dress made from imitation chiffon that rustles as she moves. The harshness of the light is unforgiving; her lipstick is slightly smeared, one set of false eyelashes longer than the other and no amount of powder can cover the onset of age that inevitably befalls every woman. She is comparable to a flower past its prime; a tragic fading beauty.]

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BLANCHE: [to no-one in particular] What sort of lunch do you call this? I never expected to miss that horrid apartment in Elysian Fields but this place gives it a run for its money!

[Enter LAURA. Music: The Glass Menagerie, faintly. Laura is a shy girl, gripping on to the arm of a middle-aged DOCTOR as he leads her to an empty seat. Her gait is somewhat awkward due to a childhood deformity. She wears a simple and soft pale, pink dress. She is startlingly out of place in the harsh environment of the institution, as if she was a mere ...

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