Six Degrees of Separation Questions and Answers
by John Guare

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Explain the plot of Six Degrees of Separation.

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Written by American playwright John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation first opened on Broadway in 1990. The play begins in the home of middle-aged, wealthy New York art dealers Louisa ‘Ouisa’ and John ‘Flan’ Kittredge - the proud owners of a double-sided Kandinsky. One evening, as they are entertaining their friend and client Geoffrey Miller, they are visited by a young African-American man. The man claims to be a university friend of their children, who are studying at Harvard. He also claims to be the son of famous actor and director Sidney Poitier.

Paul Poitier says that he has been attacked and robbed in Central Park. He shows the Kittredges a knife wound he has to his stomach. He tells them that, until he meets his father Sidney the following day, he doesn’t have any money. The Kittredges and Geoffrey Miller are very much charmed by Paul’s charismatic personality and, after taking care of his wound, the Kittredges invite him to stay with them for the night, and their friend gives him fifty dollars.

The following morning, Ouisa discovers Paul in bed with a strange man, and her and Flan throw Paul out of their home. They soon discover that Paul is not who he said he was, and the couple set out to find out who he really is and what he wanted with them. Their investigations lead them not only to learn who Paul is, but also to learn who they really are as well.

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