The Play

(Survey of Dramatic Literature)

A three-act play (noted in the script as “parts,” not “acts”), Fefu and Her Friends is set in a country house in New England, with all the action taking place in one day. Parts 1 and 3 take place in the living room, the first in the morning and the third in the evening. Part 2, which covers the afternoon hours, has four sets: the lawn, the study, the bedroom, and the kitchen.

Fefu’s friends Cindy and Christina are already in the living room when the play opens, and the other women arrive at the house by lunchtime, invited there to prepare a presentation for an education group of which they are members. Most of them have been friends for some time, and during the day and evening they collect in pairs or in groups of varying size, talking about themselves, their lives, each other, and especially about Fefu, the central figure who knows them all. Fefu says whatever is on her mind, whether or not it appears appropriate or relevant, often with the apparent intent of shocking the others. It is her house party, and she flamboyantly attracts, and apparently wants to attract, most of the attention.

Another major topic for all the women, again talking in small groups rather than in one big group discussion, concerns Julia. She has been injured in a shooting accident and is confined to a wheelchair, and throughout the day she needs assistance. Exactly what happened to her is unclear. It is a matter of considerable speculation, since...

(The entire section is 486 words.)