The play is in the form of theatre exercises in which a drama class teacher puts students through acting games that, unexpectedly, reveal who they are as people.
How she got to this point even surprises the author, Annie Baker. "I never know what I'm writing," the playwright insisted. "I really have no idea. It just goes."
Audiences and critics were especially surprised by a moment late in the play, in which the rehearsal room setting transforms.
Baker said, "I actually didn't know the ending was coming. It sorta happened. I hadn’t planned it. It was a very weird, magical thing." Nor did she have a theatre background that would help her through this unchartered terrain. "I've never been an acting student. I'm dating an actor [Michael Chernus from Hunting and Gathering], and he was helpful — and I took acting classes as a kid, but I was never a professional actor."
— Harry Haun