"No previous works of theater have been topical in the resonant and specific ways of the Apple Family plays... They are a rare and radiant mirror of the way we live... In another fifty years audiences will be watching these plays to remember how we remembered." - Ben Brantley, New York Times
"The writing is so minutely observed, the portrayal of American life and its politics so current and acute that these plays speak what all of us are thinking (politically, socially, morally), but few are saying." - Alexis Soloski, Village Voice
"Positively shattering... the Apple Family plays cement Nelson's place in American theatrical history." - Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
This critically acclaimed play cycle about loss, memory and remembrance follows the Apple family of Rhinebeck, New York, as they grapple with events both personal and political in their immediate present: the 2010 election (That Hopey Changey Thing), the tenth anniversary of 9/11 (Sweet and Sad), Obama's reelection (Sorry), and the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination (Regular Singing). Delicately constructed and precisely observed, this quartet of plays each of which premiered at The Public Theater on the day it was set is a masterpiece of stage naturalism and a powerful reminder of the theater's unique capacity for civic dialogue and public communion.
Richard Nelson's many plays include Nikolai and the Others, Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award for Best Play), Franny's Way, Some Americans Abroad, Frank's Home, Two Shakespearean Actors and James Joyce's The Dead (with Shaun Davey; Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical).
About the Author
Richard Nelson’s plays include Nikolai and the Others, Farewell to the Theatre, Conversations in Tusculum, How Shakespeare Won the West, Frank’s Home, Rodney’s Wife, Franny’s Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere, New England, The General from America, Misha’s Party (with Alexander Gelman), Two Shakespearean Actors and Some Americans Abroad. He has written the musicals James Joyce’s The Dead (with Shaun Davey) and My Life with Albertine (with Ricky Ian Gordon), and the screenplays for the films Hyde Park-on-Hudson and Ethan Frome.
He has received numerous awards, including a Tony (Best Book of a Musical for James Joyce’s The Dead), an Olivier (Best Play for Goodnight Children Everywhere) and two New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards (James Joyce’s The Dead and The Apple Family). He is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; he is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He lives in Upstate New York.
Read an Excerpt
"The plays themselves turned out to be minor miracles, intimate conversations of a depth and thematic resonance we rarely experience in the theater. This is theater for grownups, theater that takes seriously its obligation to map and record our national psyche. Richard has made almost a second profession of his versions of Russian drama, both classic and contemporary, and one feels the gracing presence of Chekhov throughout these plays. Like Chekhov’s characters, the Apples are decent, highly educated, caring people who love their country, understand that something has gone terribly wrong in its politics, and have no confidence in their own ability to change it. They are the worried citizens of a nation on the brink of great upheaval, and they register with seismographic sensitivity and precision the temblors to come." - Oskar Eustis, from the book's Introduction