The play, "Six Characters in Search of an Author" belongs to the genre of the Theater of the Absurd; that is, theater which presents life as meaningless, nonsensical, and comic. When the play opens conflict is apparent from the start, as six characters appear who are in search of an author to finish their play. They interrupt a rehearsal in progress which irritates both the director and the actors.
However, as the play progresses, more conflict is apparent among the group of the six characters as they discuss the plot in which they are involved. The Father (a character) tires of The Mother (another character), and she goes off with his male secretary. They have three children. Mother eventually returns to the town, and more conflict occurs. This conflict is somewhat comedic as the beautiful Stepdaughter (a character) is given employment by Madame Pace who wants her to work in the brothel in back of the shop. The Father visits the brothel and nearly has sex with the Stepdaughter but is stopped by the Mother. At the climax of the play, The Boy (a character) shoots himself and neither the characters, the actors or the director can figure out if he is really dead.
Director: Pretense? Reality? To hell with it all! Never in my life has such a thing happened to me. I've lost a whole day over these people, a whole day! (act 3)
In this manner the main conflict is revealed which is distinguishing the fine line between reality and illusion. This theme is common in the Theater of the Absurd as illustrated in other plays such as "Waiting for Godot" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead."