Richard Nelson's THE GABRIELS Election Year Play Cycle Launches Tour in DC

By: Jan. 03, 2017
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The Public Theater previously announced that Richard Nelson's acclaimed trilogy THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family would tour to Washington D.C., Australia, and Hong Kong beginning in January 2017.

The tour kicks off today, January 3, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. through Sunday, January 22; and will travel to The Perth International Arts Festival in Australia from Sunday, February 11 through Saturday, February 18; and will conclude at the Hong Kong Arts Festival on Wednesday, February 22 through Sunday, February 26. Nelson's last three-play cycle, The Apple Family Plays, had a successful European tour of Berlin, Wiesbaden, the United Kingdom, and Vienna in 2015.

The international tour will feature original cast members Meg Gibson (Karin Gabriel), Lynn Hawley (Hannah Gabriel), Roberta Maxwell (Patricia Gabriel), Maryann Plunkett (Mary Gabriel), Jay O. Sanders (George Gabriel), and Amy Warren (Joyce Gabriel).

"During the 2015 European tour of The Apple Family plays, in which packed audiences watched seven and a half hours of theater while following along with super-titles, I remember two comments vividly: 'We didn't know people in America questioned themselves and their country in this way,' and 'I never saw theater where the actor was so central,'" said Playwright and Director Richard Nelson. "One professional actor in Berlin told us, 'I didn't know actors were even allowed to do that.' Returning home we all felt we had brought something new and evocative to these audiences. The tour of The Gabriels, we hope, will continue our journey, extending it now to two new continents."

"The Gabriels has been one of the great achievements of the American Theater in the new millennium," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "I am delighted that we can give the world a glimpse of Americans who are radically different from the image of America in the international media. No arrogance, no bombast, no invectives; just real, compassionate, confused people struggling with the world we live in."

In performances at The Public now, is Nelson's exquisitely moving finale of the three-play cycle, which takes place as the Gabriel family awaits the results of the Presidential Election on November 8, 2016. Women Of a Certain Age takes place in the course of a single night, eight months after we first meet the Gabriels. Patricia, the family matriarch, joins her children and daughters-in-law as they prepare a meal from the past and consider the future of their country, town and home. Paying tribute to the difficult year behind them, the Gabriels compare notes on the search for empathy and authenticity at a time when the game seems rigged and the rules are forever changing.

All three plays in THE GABRIELS feature scenic design by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West; costume design by Susan Hilferty; lighting design by Jennifer Tipton; and sound design by Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens.

Richard Nelson (Playwright/Director) returns to The Public with The Gabriels after the acclaimed 2013 run of The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad, Sorry, Regular Singing). His additional credits for The Public include Conversations in Tusculum. His other plays include Oblivion, Nikolai and the Others, Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award Best Play), Two Shakespearean Actors, Some American Abroad, Madame Melville, New England, Frank's Home, Rodney's Wife, Franny's Way, The General from America, The Vienna Notes, and others. His musicals include James Joyce's The Dead, for which he won a Tony Award; and My Life with Albertine. His films include Hyde Park on Hudson, Ethan Frome, and Sensibility and Sense. He is a recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is an honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which has produced ten of his plays.

Meg Gibson (Karin Gabriel) has appeared at The Public Theater in Talking About Race; The Mobile Shakespeare Unit's Measure for Measure; King Lear; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Casanova; Fen; and Temptation. Her other New York credits include Human Error at The Atlantic; Slipping at Rattlestick; Lapis Blue, Blood Red; From Above at Playwrights' Horizons, Messiah at Manhattan Theatre Club, Roman Fever at EST, and Meredith Monk's The Games at BAM's Next Wave Festival. Regionally, her work has been seen at The Old Globe, The Mark Taper Forum, ART (company member), Yale Rep, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, ATL, The Huntington Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Playhouse, The O'Neill Conference, and The Sundance Institute. Her film and television credits include The Phenom; Amira and Sam; Che; Dust; Night Listener; Picture Perfect; Dottie; "Treme"; "The Americans"; "Rubicon"; "Zero Hour"; "Blue Bloods"; "Sex and the City"; "Law and Order"; "Law and Order: Criminal Intent"; and "Law and Order: SVU."

Lynn Hawley (Hannah Gabriel) has appeared at The Public in Richard III, Venus, and Woyzeck. Her additional credits include What Once We Felt at Lincoln Center, Aristocrats at Irish Rep, The Illusion at Classic Stage Company, Owners and Traps at New York Theatre Workshop, and The Pitchfork Disney at HERE. Her regional credits include Yale Rep, Center Stage, Williamstown, New York Stage & Film, Potomac Theatre Project, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. Her film and television credits include "Law & Order"; "Law & Order: SVU"; and Hamlet. Hawley teaches at Bard College and has directed at the Juilliard School. She received an M.F.A. from NYU.

Roberta Maxwell (Patricia Gabriel) appeared at The Public Theater in Ashes, Slag, Mary Stuart, and Richard III. She was last seen in NYC 2014 in Hellman V. McCarthy and The Film Society and recently at American Conservatory Theater in Indian Ink. She made her Broadway debut in There's One in Every Marriage followed by The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Her other Broadway credits include Equus, The Merchant, and Our Town, Off-Broadway - Whistle in the Dark (Mercury Theater), Ivanov, The Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters (Classic Stage Company), and numerous regional Theater Productions over several decades, receiving Obies and other awards. Her films include Dead Man Walking, Popeye, Psycho 3, Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain, and Hungry Hearts.

Maryann Plunkett (Mary Gabriel) was last seen at The Public in The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country. Her Broadway credits include A Man For All Seasons, The Crucible, Saint Joan, Me and My Girl (Tony Award), Sunday in the Park..., and Agnes of God. Her additional Off-Broadway credits include Rodney's Wife, Jayson With A Y, and Aristocrats. She is a founding member of Portland Stage, and has numerous Shakespeare, Chekhov, Theater of War, and Audio Books. Her film and television credits include A True Story, Company Men, Blue Valentine, Fairhaven, "House of Cards," "The Black List," and "Law & Order."

Jay O. Sanders (George Gabriel) has been a regular presence at The Public's Shakespeare in the Park, most recently in King Lear, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, and Midsummer Night's Dream, and downtown in Richard Nelson's Apple Family Plays, the title role in Titus Andronicus, and as George W. Bush in Stuff Happens. His own play, Unexplored Interior, recently had its world premiere as the inaugural production of the Mosaic Theater Company in Washington D.C. On Broadway, he appeared as "Doolittle" in Pygmalion for the Roundabout; at Boston's Huntington Theater as "Galileo" in Two Men of Florence; and around the country with Bryan Doerries' Theater of War. Sanders has acted in numerous films and television shows and has narrated a long list of commercials, audiobooks, and PBS documentaries.

Amy Warren (Joyce Gabriel) has appeared in Act One at Lincoln Center; Shlemiel the First with Theater for a New Audience and the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene; and Melancholy Play, a chamber musical with 13P. Warren made her Broadway debut as "Karen Weston" in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County. Nominations for the Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and Drama Desk awards for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, for her performance as Daisy in Adding Machine: A Musical. She also appeared in the national tour of August: Osage County.

The Public Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. Celebrating his 10th anniversary season at The Public, Eustis has created new community-based initiatives designed to engage audiences like Public Lab, Public Studio, Public Forum, Public Works, and a remount of the Mobile Unit. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, an expanding initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; and audience and artist development initiatives that range from Emerging Writers Group and to the Public Forum series. The Public is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. The Public is currently represented on Broadway by Lin-Manuel Miranda's acclaimed American musical Hamilton. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 168 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics Awards, and five Pulitzer Prizes.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus