The previous post was very strong in its analysis. I would like to suggest that one of most rich aspects of the storyline of Mamet's work is the idea that relationships are complex elements where other forces outside of the people involved in the relationship have as much an impact as the individuals in the relationship. The idea that Dan and Bernard's relationship actually contains more scenes than the relationship between Dan and Deborah speaks clearly to the premise of the work. Relationships are complex and trying to understand them forces one to examine how one relates to both themselves, others, and the world. The fact that there is little resolution offered in the play might constitute such a truth. The play is a very good refutation to the typical American notion of marriage which emerged after the Second World War: Individuals marry, move out to the suburbs, have children, and stay together for quite a while. Mamet's play inverts this reality in suggesting that individuals in relationships are complex beings involved in a very complex entity. The work and its storyline offers some potential explanations as to why many marriages result in divorce or separation.
The storyline in this David Mamet play is fairly sparse and is actually secondary to other things such as character development.
The play has four character, Dan Shapiro, Bernard Litko, Joan Webber and Deborah Soloman. The first two are friends, the second two are friends and room mates.
To the extent that there is a plot, it is about Dan and Deborah. They meet, fall in love, and then eventually fall out of love and come to hate one another.
While this is the storyline the more important parts of the play show the two sets of same sex characters talking to one another. These scenes provide insight into the relationships between the same sex friends and how those relationships are affected by the Dan-Deborah affair.