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The Art of Dining - Full Length Play, Comedy

The Art of Dining

Tina Howe

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Full Length Play, Comedy

3m, 6f

ISBN: 9780573605703

"A spicy compote of social satire, slapstick zaniness, sight gags and the funniest play I've seen in a long time." - Village Voice

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
Coastal Disturbances: Four Plays

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: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play


Time Period - Contemporary

Settings Of Play - The Golden Carrousel Restaurant, New Jersey.


Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


From Off-Broadway

Cal and Ellen are the owners and sole staff of a small, elegant gourmet restaurant. Cal's main preoccupation is paying back the $75,000 it cost to start it up, and that means packing in the customers. Chef Ellen is preoccupied with the food's quality and stopping Cal from sampling the ingredients. The diners act out their own private dramas over dinner and their conversations are exquisite burlesques of contemporary attitudes. There's a sensual middle aged couple who go into paroxysms of ecstasy just reading the menu and then there's three crass chic young career women. Finally, there's Elizabeth, a maladroit, shy and neurotic writer who's dining with her prospective publisher. Her actions and conversation are unintentionally hilarious and a delicious example of how not to act and what not to talk about while dining.


"A spicy compote of social satire, slapstick zaniness, sight gags and the funniest play I've seen in a long time." - Village Voice

The Art of Dining premiered at the New York Shakespeare Festival in December 1979 under the direction of A.J. Antoon.



3m, 6f

ELLEN - co-owner and chef extraordinaire of The Golden Carrousel, mid 30's. 
CAL - co-owner and supple head waiter of The Golden Carrousel, Ellen's husband, mid 30's.
HANNAH GALT - beautifully dressed and hungry, mid 40's.
PAUL GALT - beautifully dressed and hungrier, mid 40's.
ELIZABETH BARROW COLT - exceedingly shy and nearsighted. A writer, in her early 30's, afraid of food. 
HERRICK SIMMONS - enthusiastic and a good eater, early 30's. 
NESSA VOX - easily upset and a more neurotic eater, early 30's.
TONY STASSIO - perpetually on a diet and miserable, early 30's.
DAVID OSSLOW - the head of his own publishing company, successful, at ease, son and husband of good cooks, mid 50's and in top shape.
Tina Howe

Tina Howe

Tina Howe’s most produced plays include “Birth and After Birth”, “Museum”, “The Art of Dining”, “Painting Churches”, “Coastal Disturbances”, “Approaching Zanzibar” and “Pride’s Crossing”. These and other works premiered at the Public Theater, the Kennedy Center, Second Stage, The Old Globe Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Atlantic Theater Company, Primary ... view full profile

Now Playing
Tamarah Ashton 7/11/2015 3:36 AM
Cody Dull 7/1/2015 12:18 PM
I thought this play was actually quite funny. And would consider doing in a future season.

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