Success is not entirely a fountain of delights, as playwright A.R. Gurney Jr. has discovered. A man who enjoys his vacations, he has been forced to skip them recently to shepherd productions of an acclaimed string of plays, the latest of which is "The Golden Age," which runs through Oct. 15 at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.
Though the subject of his works is the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) life, he tends to shun what might be called traditional WASP -atering holes. "I'm not totally content in a place that's terribly groupy," he says. Gurney and his wife live in New York City but are seeking a weekend and summer home in the western Connecticut Berkshire Mountains.
Among his favorite vacation memories:
* Nantucket Island: "We have rented a place in Siasconset several summers. The island seems very low-key and simple. There's bicycle riding, the beach life and the tennis life."
* Bitterroot Ranch in northwestern Wyoming: "Not only was there great riding and trout fishing, but the French seem to have gotten wind of the place. We had a wonderful combination of American western life during the day, and at night we sat around an old wooden table and spoke elegant French. There was a herd of buffalo, and they were always breaking through the fence. Then the guests had to round them up. We all felt we were doing something terribly significant."
* Peru, Vt.: This has been an occasional winter destination for skiing at Bromley resort. "The town is particularly pretty, and Bromley is a wonderful mountain. The sun hits it, and it is warmer than most. The trails are complicated enough for me."
* London: This is a favorite city, though his most recent visit came in the form of a business trip for the opening there of an earlier play, "The Dining Room." Like New York City, "we find it very exciting."