The play is The Empire Builders by Boris Vian. It was written in 1959 In French and produced in English in the early 60's in London and San Francisco. I'm sure it was done off Broadway too but I could find no record. I love this kind of play. It is very surreal, very Beckett-y with wit and actual horror. It has unsettling events and images but ones mores designed to make one think than to provoke shock and outrage.
The play concerns a family unit mostly unnamed, Mother, Father, and daughter Zenobia as they flee and unnamed terror represented by a Noise. Their flight causes them to move from floor to floor in their apartment building, loosing memories, friends, and belongs with each move, They have a maid, Mug, whose conversation is very thesaurus-like as she will list several different ways of saying a thing. The Mother and Father both try to pretend that their predicament is normal and acceptable. Ever optimistic they try find the good in their new surroundings although they are clearly worse off than they were on the previous floor. Only Zenobia remembers the good 'good old days' and is a voice of morose logic and hyper literal-ism in this world.
Oh And the schurmz is also on hand. It comes with them from floor to floor. The schmurz is a man wrapped in rags and bandages. It/He is disfigured and lame. When the Mother and Father are confronted by their reality the resort to beating the schmurz who implacably receives and absorbs the abuse. The parents ignore the existence of the schmurz, apart from their need to beat him/it. Zenobia tries to talk about it but this results in more beatings. She seems to feel some sympathy for it/him but is incapable of aid.
The play progresses in three acts as the family moves up a floor per act until the father is alone in an attic room with no more way out but for a window. trapped alone with the schmurz as the unnamed terror, represented by a noise, finally wins out over the family.
I really like this play. It is full of wonderful dark humor. It has deeper meanings whose interpretation is fluid, and yet true. I would love to stage this play and there is a good role for me as the Father. Also designing the the Noise would be terrific fun for a sound designer. The schmurz's costume would be fun for a make up and/or costume designer to do.