JERRY THERNSTROM - Possesses the old-world affectations and speech of an older WASP-y type, as well as the glow of narcissism and self-containment that is specific to New York psychoanalysts. Habituated to luxury and privilege—to the extent that he just blends in with it. Outwardly polite, slightly eccentric, nerdishly academic and also a little abstracted, out of touch. Has a true goofy, silly side to him and also a quietly pained detachment that—by the end of the play—opens into chaos and self-loathing. Late thirties to early forties; right before the cusp of middle age.
CAROL THERNSTROM - Jerry’s wife. A wedding planner who is intensely cynical about marriage. She is quick-witted, fashionable, controlling, meticulous (i.e., compulsive), self-conscious, literate, and wears all this like a kind of breastplate, or armor. But deep down she knows something in her is dying, or has died; her conscience is bothering her. The discomfiture comes out as hostility. There’s something childlike and untouched in her that no one sees. A woman in her forties who takes care of herself, or a woman in her mid-thirties who is aging prematurely—either way, the lines are showing.
MARTIN GOLDSTROM - Jerry’s best friend from boarding school. An anesthesiologist. Has a warmth, a naifish sweetness and desire to learn. Intensely emotional, but tries to conceal this with varying degrees of success. Develops a deep, agonizing, insatiable spiritual longing throughout the course of the play, as well as a profound—and finally pathological—need to connect to people, to himself, to something authentic and rooted. Jerry’s age, maybe a year younger.
JUDY GOLDSTROM - The fragile, under-confident and somewhat neurotic wife of Martin. She works to conceal her obsessiveness and neuroses—she’s embarrassed by them; will admit to her “inappropriate” frailties out of both politeness and the need to exhibit “self-awareness.” Her respect for decorum is a default. Younger than Martin.