THE STORY: The scene is a motel outside of Boston: a depersonalized, antiseptic environment into which, one after the other, come five sets of travelers. There is a well-to-do couple on a visit to their married daughter; a lonely salesman looking for a bit of romance to temper the boredom of a business trip; an overbearing father and his latently rebellious son en route to a Harvard interview; a pair of liberated college students intent on a weekend of passion; and an embittered doctor in the process of getting a divorce. Although the various occupants of the motel room are often on stage at the same time, they neither see nor hear each other, and it is quickly evident that their shared location is, in reality, five different rooms. But, as each of the individual dramatic situations is developed, the irony, humor and pathos which they evoke is heightened by the silent proximity of the other characters—building, in the end, to a kaleidoscopic pattern in which their separate stories blend and re-blend into a subtle but telling indictment of the shortcomings, large and small, of life in contemporary America.
A truly original and creatively structured play, first presented by New York's prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club, which employs a highly inventive theatrical form to convey its conclusions about the impersonality and, too often, the futility of modern American life. "It's a lofty topic, and Gurney has the talent and intelligence to tackle it." —Cue Magazine. "…it is the cumulative effect of the episodes that matters—that and his humor and the liveliness of his writing." —The New Yorker. "A.R. Gurney has given a true gift of theatre—insight into other people's lives while showing the struggles we all share." —Show Business.