A theatre director and his assistant arrange a protagonist, who stands on a black block submitting to their direction. The director wears a fur coat and matching toque and smokes a cigar. He has only a short amount of time to devote to the rehearsal, as he must go to a meeting. The assistant behaves with humility and alacrity, though she carefully wipes the director's armchair before she can relax in it. She has frequent recourse to her pad and pencil. Luke, the offstage lighting man, remains invisible throughout. The director gets a 'storm of applause' for his creation, but the brief existence of the protagonist ends as a skull: ' raises his head, fixes the audience. The applause falters, dies.'