(Treplev looks over his manuscript. He looks up and speaks to the audience.)

TREPLEV: I've talked a lot about new forms in writing - but bit by bit, my own work is becoming very conventional. (He reads:) Take this: "The poster on the fence announced a pale face framed by dark hair." "Announced" . . . "framed" . . . a terrible choice of words. (He crosses them out.) I'll start with the hero being wakened by the rain and cut everything else. My description of a moonlit night is too long and precious. Trigorin has it all worked out, writing is easy for him: a broken piece of bottle, glittering on the dam; a mill wheel casts a dark shadow - and there's his moonlit night. But I have to bring in more, shimmering light and softly twinkling stars and the distant sound of a piano dying in the fragrant air. It's terrible. Writing is agony. (Pause.) More and more, I think it's not a matter of old or new forms, what matters is what you write without thinking of form at all, what matters is what you write straight from the heart.

(There's a tap at the window near his desk.)

TREPLEV: Who's there? (He opens the door and calls out into the garden.) Hello? Who's there?

(He hears something and exits. Then he quickly returns with Nina.)