The Day Room

The Day Room

by Don DeLillo
     
 

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The play opens in a brightly lit hospital room occupied by two men. One, the amiable Budge, does Tai Chi exercises while trying, without much success, to strike up a conversation with his taciturn roommate, Wyatt. Then, slowly but inexorably, their world begins to spin away from reality as they are visited by a series of fellow patients and hospital staffers, all of

Overview

The play opens in a brightly lit hospital room occupied by two men. One, the amiable Budge, does Tai Chi exercises while trying, without much success, to strike up a conversation with his taciturn roommate, Wyatt. Then, slowly but inexorably, their world begins to spin away from reality as they are visited by a series of fellow patients and hospital staffers, all of whom, it turns out, may not be what they seem. Oddly normal, but also oddly frightening, it is soon apparent that they have strayed in from the psychiatric ward of the adjacent Arno Klein Wing, and are all quite mad. In the second act, which is set in the day room of the psychiatric ward, the same performers reappear, but with different identities. Some of them, claiming to be actors, transform the room into a tacky motel suite in which a play-within-the-play is to take place; others become tourists searching for the renowned "Arno Klein Theater Company"; and one man, strait-jacketed and tied in a chair, "becomes" a television set. At last Arno Klein himself appears, and proves to be the man (Budge) who started the play. So, in the end, we have come full circle, with appearance and reality, madness and normality, still tantalizingly undefined, and with the growing conviction that all the world may indeed be no more than a stage—and all its inhabitants merely players.

Editorial Reviews

J.M. Ditsky
Heller, Mamet, Beckett, Shepard, Stoppard. These names and others are apt to occur to the reader of this fascinating new play. . . . Certainly its suggestions about conceptions of madness and reality will haunt any reader who has ever spent time somewhere being subject to others' wills--such as a hospital, as the play says, or an airplane (or, as the reader may decide, a theater audience). A superbly printed example of a natural playwright's work. -- Choice
Copyright 1983 The H.W. Wilson Company. All rights reserved.
Boston Herald
THE DAY ROOM is an intellectual mystery, a metaphysical comedy, and absurdist riddle.
NY Post
...a cheerful, often hilariously wicked, commentary on life and death, both seen in terms of a theatrical event.
San Francisco Chronicle
DeLillo gives his characters incisively lunatic commentaries on death, the nature of illness, the hierarchical abuses of power and on reality itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140482294
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1989
Series:
Plays, Penguin Series
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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