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The Art of Dining

The Art of Dining
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Tina Howe
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 125
Pub. Date: 1987
ISBN-10: 057360570X
ISBN-13: 9780573605703
Cast Size: 6 female, 3 male

About the Play:

The Art of Dining has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Male Scenes.

The Art of Dining is a full-length comedy by Tina Howe. A sweeping multi-character play that centers around a couple who make their dream come true by opening a gourmet restaurant in their living room. As tensions between the couple come to a boil, seven diners fixate on body image, converse about their individual hungers, and divulge their love/hate relationships with food.

The Art of Dining deftly makes light and dark of the same subject: the eroticism of food. Ellen, a gifted female chef, and her ex-lawyer husband and waiter, Cal, are the owners and sole staff of a small, elegant gourmet restaurant. Cal worries about recouping their financial investment, and that means packing in the customers. Chef Ellen is preoccupied with the food's quality and stopping Cal from sampling the ingredients. The diners act out their own private dramas over dinner and their conversations are exquisite burlesques of contemporary attitudes. There's a sensual middle aged couple who go into paroxysms of ecstasy just reading the menu and then there's three crass chic young career women. Finally, there's Elizabeth, a shy and neurotic writer who's dining with her prospective publisher. Her actions and conversation are unintentionally hilarious and a delicious example of how not to act and what not to talk about while dining.

The Art of Dining premiered in 1979 Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been mounted by regional, college, and community theatres.

Cast: 6 female, 3 male

What people say:

"A spicy compote of social satire, slapstick zaniness, sight gags and the funniest play I've seen in a long time." — Village Voice

About the Playwright:

Tina Howe (1937-2023) was an American playwright. In a career that spanned more than four decades, the celebrated playwright wrote 14 full-length plays, including the Tony nominated Coastal Disturbances and Pulitzer finalists Pride's Crossing and Painting Churches. She was a Guggenheim Fellow; a recipient of the Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting, the Rockefeller Grant for Distinguished Playwriting, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award for Master American Dramatist, amongst other titles.

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