New Plays: Translations from the Unconscious

In a Pinter play, the questions are the answers. The denouement is total uncertainty. The audience knows less at the end than it thought it knew at the beginning. Harold Pinter provokes a devilishly clever sort of participatory theater in which the playgoer is lured into playing detective without any clues.

Consider the plot of Tea Party, a one-acter that, along with The Basement, is being offered off-Broadway. The central figure is Sisson (David Ford), a middleaged, successful British manufacturer of bidets. A self-made man, he prizes decisiveness, precision, strength of character....

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