June 22, 2015

Chris (Claire Karpen) has only just met this group of friends, so she probably shouldn’t make a scene. But dinner is over, the alcohol is flowing and Stuart (Craig Wesley Divino) — the smug one up there at the head of the table — is being obnoxious. When he tries to bait her into debating abortion rights, she tells him the issue is none of his business, because he is a man. “The terms of a conversation are controlled by who is invited to the table,” Chris says. “And you’re not invited to that particular table.” Escaping for the weekend to a country house, where the laid-back Nate (Aaron Rossini) is their host, these privileged 30-somethings in Michael Perlman’s “At the Table” have brought along a full complement of identity-related baggage to unpack in the common areas. Race, gender, sexual orientation, income level: Any of these might become contentious at any time. That the friends frequently talk over one another, making it difficult to discern what anyone is saying, is part of the point in this overloaded ensemble piece, presented by Fault Line Theater at Here Arts Center. Seemingly so is the fact that we rarely have a clear view of everyone in this crowded house. Mr. Perlman has staged his play in the round, and his blocking is largely naturalistic.