The Dining Room
The play is a comedy of manners, set in a single dining room where 18 scenes from different households overlap and intertwine. Presumably, each story is focused around a different family during different time periods who has in their possession the same dining room furniture set, manufactured in 1898. The stories are about White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)families. Some scenes are about the furniture itself and the emotional attachment to it, while other scenes simply flesh out the culture of the WASPs. Overall, it tells the story of the dying and relatively short-lived culture of upper-middle class Americans, and the transition into a much more efficient society with less emphasis on tradition and more emphasis onprogress. Some characters are made fun of, as is the culture itself, but there is also a genuine longing for the sense of stability, comfort and togetherness that the culture provides.