The Master Builder HTML version

Act First
A plainly-furnished work-room in the house of HALVARD SOLNESS. Folding doors on
the left lead out to the hall. On the right is the door leading to the inner rooms of the
house. At the back is an open door into the draughtsmen's office. In front, on the left, a
desk with books, papers and writing materials. Further back than the folding door, a
stove. In the right- hand corner, a sofa, a table, and one or two chairs. On the table a
water-bottle and glass. A smaller table, with a rocking-chair and arm-chair, in front on
the right. Lighted lamps, with shades, on the table in the draughtmen's office, on the table
in the corner, and on the desk.
In the draughtsmen's office sit KNUT BROVIK and his son RAGNAR, occupied with
plans and calculations. At the desk in the outer office stands KAIA FOSLI, writing in the
ledger. KNUT BROVICK is a spare old man with white hair and beard. He wears a rather
threadbare but well-brushed black coat, with spectacles, and a somewhat discoloured
white neckcloth. RAGNAR BROVIK is a well-dressed, light-haired man in his thirties,
with a slight stoop. KAIA FOSLI is a slightly built girl, a little over twenty, carefully
dressed, and delicate-looking. She has a green shade over her eyes.--All three go on
working for some time in silence.
[Rises suddenly, as if in distress, from the table; breathes heavily and laboriously as he
comes forward into the doorway.] No, I can't bear it much longer!
[Going up to him.] You are feeling very ill this evening, are you not, Uncle?
Oh, I seem to get worse every day.
[Has risen and advances.] You ought to go home, father. Try to get a little sleep---
[Impatiently.] Go to bed, I suppose? Would you have me stifled outright?
Then take a little walk.