The play takes place in Harrison, Texas, jumping back and forth between 1923 to 1963. Following the Weems family as it grows up, we watch its members find their places in society. Of the main characters: Mr. Weems is a banker with a heart. He cannot easily stand up against his wife, but puts money away for his daughter, Laura Lee, to do with as she wishes, knowing everyone tries to run her life. Mrs. Weems is a busybody who can't see how emotions guide people's decisions so she thwarts them by interaction or ignorance. Their son, Sherman, grows up to be the banker his father never was—a banker who is doesn't consider another person when it comes to money. He is in a bitter marriage, but won't leave because his wife has threatened to expose his adultery, thereby threatening his career. Laura Lee only wants to love, and to get away from her family, mostly her mother. On bad advice, Laura Lee never married, and though she doesn't live in regret, she feels the loss of the two men she loved. As an adult all she wants now is a house, but everything she tries, everywhere she turns, she is told no; money comes first and she has no control over her own finances. In an almost final blow, her brother Sherman sells the house she wants to another buyer because the price was, in his opinion, too high for Laura Lee, but not for his other buyer, who got for an even lower price. Laura Lee had the money, and asked Sherman to arrange the sale through the bank, but her family has always sabotaged chances for independence, especially where money was involved, and this time was no different. At the age of 60, Laura lives in an apartment with her mother, bitterly agreeing to live there until she can find a house for them both. When she learns her brother and mother agree that two old women should not move into a house, Laura collapses and soon dies. Mrs. Weems, at 93, finally, has an inkling of what her life has been when she says that living that long is her punishment. What's left of the Weems family seems to fade into the landscape.
A front porch play as only Foote can do it. "Here, on his own…terms, Mr. Foote has created a gentle answer to Lillian Hellman's chronicles of the Hubbard family,…Like those works, NIGHT SEASONS follows a mercenary, well-to-do family over the decades, while adding up the human casualties of greed and the urge to dominate…Mr. Foote's pace is both calmer and more meandering, spun out of small, quotidian details, his approach to character far more forgiving…NIGHT SEASONS is an examination of the quietly destructive effects of a life defined by bank balances." —NY Times.