The Public Theater Production of

The Gabriels

Election Year in the Life of one Family

Richard Nelson, The Public Theater

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‘The Best Theater of 2016’ – The New York Times

The Holland Festival presents The Public Theater production of The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, the new, critically-acclaimed three-play cycle by Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson, following one extraordinary, imperfect American family in real time, tracking their lives throughout this turbulent election year. History, money, politics, art and culture are all on the table in this moving and unforgettable trilogy about a family celebrating, remembering and waiting for the world to change.

part 1: 3-6.45 pm
part 2: 5:30-7:15 pm
part 3: 9:00-10:45 pm



Focus: democracy

This year several festival artists are looking at the problems faced by Western democracies. The French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville admired democracy for its social equality. He saw its dangers too. Director Romeo Castellucci is making La democrazia inAmerica, based on De Tocqueville’s eponymous book 

(1835). In The Gabriels director Richard Nelson reflects on the recent American election year through the eyes of an ordinary family. Other artists focus on controversies in democracies, such as the issue of refugees in directors Dieudonné Niangouna and Thomas Bellinck’s performances. Others address the threat of violence (Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed), tyranny (Octavia), or shaping activism (The Tempest Society). In Manifesto the film director Julian Rosefeldt examines the relation between art and society. 

We are presenting two national theatre production companies, each with its own state of the nation: My Country by the National Theatre in London, and The Nation by the Dutch National Theatre in The Hague. Both performances show divided countries in which no one, from politicians to citizens, seems to dare to take responsibility. We also believe that it is important to explore democracy of form. Members of the audience can get actively involved as a passer-by, participant, or activist, if they so wish. Our artists encourage you to question the old hierarchy between the audience and the artists.



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 the Tony Award-winning acclaimed American musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. 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.



Richard Nelson is a playwright and director. For the Public Theater: The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad, Sorry, Regular Singing), 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.



written and directed by
Richard Nelson
set design
Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West
Susan Hilferty
Jennifer Tipton
Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens
Wildewoman perrformed by Lucius and written by Holly Laessig & Jessica Wolfe, Don’t Just Sit There performed by Lucius and written by Holly Laessig, Jessica Wolfe & Dan Adam Molad Until We Get There performed by Lucius and written by Holly Laessig & Jessica Wolfe
Meg Gibson, Lynn Hawley, Roberta Maxwell, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Amy Warren
production stage manager
Theresa Flanagan
stage manager
Jared Oberholtzer
production manager
Jeff Harris
assistant director
Sasha Bischoff
The Public Theatre
associate costume designer
Mark Koss
assistant lighting designer
Caitlin Smith-Rapoport
audio engineer
Laura Brauner
props/wardrobe master
Shelly Vance
piano on recording
Dan Lipton
Dana Lyn
fiddle player
press and marketing
Candi Adams and Jared Fine
with support by
The Gabriel plays are supported by a Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Hungry and Women of a Certain Age are made possible with the generous support of The Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Additional support for Hungry provided by Laurents / Hatcher Foundation, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Barbara Fleischman, and Sharon Karmazin