Vietnam War years in Canada, eventually coming back to Chicago to take over his parents' donut shop.
Sporting a gray ponytail and clothes he seems to have been wearing since the last Grateful Dead concert, Arthur occasionally lights up a cigarette or a joint, and greets everything that happens to him in his forgotten Polish backwater of Chicago with a raised eyebrow and gentle wisecrack. And a lot does happen: a break-in, a flirtation, a brash and cheeky new employee named Franco (Brian Marable) who wants to be a writer.
Franco engages Arthur, and they begin to match wits--one revelatory scene that culminates in a list of poets drew first a breathless silence then a spontaneous burst of applause from the audience, so beautifully does it crack open the characters to reveal their inner layers. As the play progresses, Franco drags in some baggage from his past, which eventually gives Arthur an opportunity to fight a war of his own choosing.
Mantooth keeps Arthur neatly balanced on a razor's edge between calm Zen acceptance and passive resignation; it's thrilling to watch him, just to see which way he is going to tip. That rare, magic fusion of good writing, acting, and directing elevates Arthur into more than an aging hippie. He becomes a meta-character, an emblem of an entire generation of draft resisters who couldn't face the heartbreaking possibility that while they might have been doing the right thing, they might have also been cowards. Arthur spends most of the play exploring that possibility, with an unflinching, quiet simplicity.