The Dining Room

by A.R. Gurney

Performed Sept 2014
(September 16 - 20 & 23 - 27, 2014)
at the Ron Maslin Playhouse
(10 performances: part of the regular season)

Directed by Barbara Kobolak


Actor #1Derek Barr
Actor #2 Tom Kobolak
Actor #3 Paul LeDuc
Acrtess #1 Liz Szucs
Acrtess #2 Karen Germundson
Acrtess #3 Anne-Marie Chronnell


Production Manager Tom Kobolak
Production Finances Bill Horsman
Stage Manager Carol Hussey
Assistant Stage Managers Sandra Quirt
Arlene Watson
Set Design Dorothy Shaw
Set Construction (Head Carpenter) Rom Frigon
Set Carpenters Paul J. Carriere
Paul Behncke
Barry Fortey
Tony Francis
Earl McLaughlin
Sandy Wynne
Set Painting Deanne Donohue
Margrit Cattell
Sandy Wynne
Set Décor Sandy Wynne
Dorothy Shaw
Properties Anna Lisa Bloom
Nihan Kavaslar
Kathleen Walsh
Lighting Design Zach Andruchow
Lighting Assistants Dave Anderson
Iain McCracken
Sound Design Kendrick Abell
Sound Assistant Al Quirt
Costume Design Meghan Lavigne
Costume Team Marilyn Valiquette
Maxine Ball
Kathryn Clarke
Dressers Joan Conrod
Darlene Milligan
Halia Osadca
Continuity Margrit Cattell
Liane Freedman
Carrie Owen
Hair Design Carol Walkey
Make-up Martha Johnstone
Tania Carriere
Danika Malovic
Rhiannon Henkelman
Susan Simchak
Green Room Terry Leonard
Helen Weeden
Gwendy Tolley
Refreshments/Servery Andrea Fajrajsl
House Manager Don Lillico

In directing and acting, I find that I have a great affection for plays about
families. This led me to A.R. Gurney’s 1982 comedy/drama, The Dining
Room. It is a succession of vignettes of upper-middle-class society in North
America. All the action occurs around a formal dining room table, with six
actors creating 57 characters (comprising many different families) within 18
scenes. Though we are looking at the decline in the lifestyle of the wealthy
WASP, we are also looking at ourselves.

Therefore, this is a play of recognition of family life and its comic, dramatic,
and everything-in-between moments. What we see are glimpses of various
families, and how family life changes, adapts, or resists change. Gurney is
also, at times, satirizing this society. But even then, he does it with affection,
or to show that it is worth satirizing. As one vignette finishes, another begins;
sometimes the next scene silently overlaps a scene that is coming to its
conclusion. As originally published, Gurney’s play encompassed a period
ranging from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. In this production, we have
brought several scenes closer to the present day, without changing the text.
Also, in accordance with the playwright’s instructions, we don’t use actual
food, and the actors mime many actions associated with food and drink. This
is a play that is not about dishes, or food, or costume changes, but rather a
play about people in a dining room.

In conclusion, even today, despite our changing rituals and manners, the
dining room still holds fast to our families, to growing up, to ruling, to being
ruled. Here’s to celebrations, to joy, to sorrow – to all of us.