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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE DINING ROOM (article first published : 2008-08-26)

DUT drama lecturer Tanya van der Walt directs A R Gurney’s The Dining Room – the delicious witty, poignant and dramatic peep into family life around the dinner table, at the Courtyard Theatre on DUT campus from September 3 to 6.

Gurney wrote the play as a series of 18 short vignettes, each a scene of family life. Although unrelated, the scenes form a bigger picture by showing a fading part of American society in particular offering a glimpse into the world of the WASPs of the late 1890s. Overall, it tells the story of the relatively short-lived culture of upper-middle class Americans, and the transition into a much more efficient society with less emphasis on age-old family tradition and more emphasis on “progress”.

The piece reminisces on a time when families sat down as a family unit to eat their meals together. Some scenes are witty, some sad, others meaningful and touching.

Gurney is an American playwright and novelist known for works including Love Letters and The Cocktail Hour. Gurney currently lives in both New York and Connecticut.

The Dining Room will be performed by first year students from the Department of Television, Drama and Production Studies.

The Dining Room runs from September 3 to 6 nightly at 19h00 at the Courtyard Theatre, Mansfield Road, DUT campus. There is secure parking at Gate No. 4 opposite the Courtyard Theatre. Tickets R15 booked through Ronicka Sirputh on 031 373 2194.




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