WHAT DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT?
Featuring the return of the Apple Family, performing from their homes including, Jon DeVries (Benjamin Apple), Stephen Kunken (Tim Andrews), Sally Murphy (Jane Apple Halls), Maryann Plunkett (Barbara Apple), Laila Robins (Marian Apple Platt), and Jay O. Sanders (Richard Apple).
For the past 10 years, The Public has been presenting Richard Nelson’s minimalist epic, The Rhinebeck Panorama, which includes The Apple Family Plays, The Gabriels, and The Michaels. Now, in the midst of our unsettled world, The Apple Family, last seen in 2014, return, though not over the dinner table, but via Zoom. This hour-long play picks up with them during their now suspended and quarantined lives. They talk about grocery shopping, friends lost, new ventures on a hoped-for horizon—all at a time when human conversation (and theater) may be more needed than ever before.
ACCESS THE PLAY FOR FREE:
World Premiere to Benefit The Public Theater
70 minutes, no intermission.
Available through June 28 at 11:59pm EST
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ABOUT THE APPLE FAMILY:
We last met Richard Nelson’s Apple Family in 2013, which seems like a hundred years ago. The first play opened on the day Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor of New York State. Over four years and four plays we watched the four Apple siblings, Barbara, Richard, Marian and Jane navigate their lives, during a time coinciding with the Obama Administration. Richard Apple, having worked for Cuomo in the State Attorney General’s office, joined a corporate law firm, separated from his wife, grew apart from his two young children, until finally returning to government service, in Albany, to work again for now Governor Cuomo. This is where we find him today.Barbara has been and remains a Rhinebeck High School English teacher. Her years of care for their Uncle Benjamin ended a few years ago, with his passing.Marian continues to teach second grade; while carrying the wounds of the death of her daughter, Evan, nine years ago.Jane is divorced, her son Billy is now thirty-one and independent. She continues her pursuit of a writing career while still living with Tim, an actor, who now manages a Rhinebeck restaurant.
In a program note for the original productions at The Public Theater, Richard wrote:
“Theater has a unique place in the history of societies. In times like our own, when human voices seem more disembodied than ever, where words seem pulled from their meanings and turned into rants and weapons, the theater can be a necessary home for human talk, a place where human beings talk about their worries, confusions, fears and loves. And where they also listen. So in one sense then, I’m hoping that these are plays about the need to talk, then need to listen, and the need for theater.”
Jay O. Sanders