In the first play, A NIGHTINGALE, Mabel and Vonnie, two Houston neighbors and best friends, both refugees from small Texas towns, are forbearing and patient about the protracted and uninvited visits of Annie Long, a girlhood acquaintance of Mabel's who is slipping inexorably into insanity. As uncomfortable as Annie makes them, Mabel and Vonnie are more concerned with silencing her vivid recounting of old scandals and the pain they caused. (1 man, 3 women.) In the second play, THE DEAREST OF FRIENDS, it is several months later, and Vonnie is facing the crisis of a husband who is involved with another woman and who wants a divorce. Mabel and her husband, Jack, are sympathetic to Vonnie's plight but, again, cannot bring themselves to face its disturbing implications. (2 men, 2 women.) In the third play, SPRING DANCE, several years have passed, and Annie is now confined to a sanatorium. She and her fellow patients are scrupulously polite and considerate of each other and, obviously, totally divorced from reality. The asylum culture reflects the larger culture—but here the isolation is total and sadly irreversible. (3 men, 1 woman.)
A critical and popular Off-Broadway success, these evocative and beautifully written short plays blend humor and poignance as they probe gently into the crises besetting a group of Texas friends and neighbors. "…a loving, fierce portrait of a sweet-tempered brutal culture…a society built on kindness and discretion, with no system for dealing with less well-behaved feelings—like terror, anguish, and passion." —Village Voice. "…a literate, touching play." —NY Times. "Foote reaffirms his abiding gentleness with tender people caught in tough situations…this HOME is a lovely place to visit." —NY Post.