When Elias and Jenny, a troubled young couple, stop at a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, they have different expectations. Elias is excited to explore the historical sites, while Jenny is hoping to reconnect with her mistrustful boyfriend. They end up, late at night, at Mertis Katherine’s bed-and-breakfast, a cozy home chock full of toys, figurines, and Victorian kitsch with a grim Civil War past. Hospitable Mertis tells ghost stories, offers Vienna finger cookies, and records the sunsets in florid, sinister prose, while Elias and Jenny bicker painfully, and Mertis’ blind and elderly friend, Genevieve, describes being haunted by the spirit of her abusive ex-husband, John. Childhood trauma, Latin incantations, lists of birds, Lovecraftian monsters, a watchful universe, mistrust, infidelity, and one very angry American Girl doll, are just a few of the troubles crowding the air during one fraught post-Thanksgiving weekend. Annie Baker’s gentle, atmospheric, and eerie play John is a delicate, amusing, emotional drama which explores loneliness, communication, and the question of whether objects do, indeed, have souls.
John guide sections