“MR. RAPP’S SENTIMENTALITY BURSTS OUT OF THE DARK!
Directed with a TENDER TOUCH and a refreshing RESPECT FOR SILENCE.
The musical, dialogue-free moments, and the stretches of silence that surround them,
establish a VIVID SENSE OF CHARACTERS who are both specifically and
– The New York Times, Ben Brantley
RAPP’S MOST SUBSTANSIAL PLAY IN SEVERAL YEARS!
All of the actors deliver BEAUTIFULLY WELL-WORN PERFORMANCES.
As a slice-of-life drama, Purple Lights
SUCCEEDS ON ALL FRONTS!
-Theatermania, David Gordon
Rapp directs his own script with CAREFUL DETAIL.
WELL ACTED AND CREEPY!
– Time Out New York, David Cote
New York Premiere
THE PURPLE LIGHTS OF JOPPA ILLINOIS
written & directed by ADAM RAPP
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 W 16th St.
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
Ellis Shook lives alone in a small duplex apartment in Paducah, Kentucky. He works nights buffing floors, keeps to himself, and always remembers to take his medication. But when two teenage girls arrive at his doorstep one autumn afternoon, their visit will force him to confront a tragic past while also offering him a glimpse at hope.
Atlantic welcomes back Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter).
WILLIAM APPS (Ellis): Wolf In The River (Flea Theater), The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (South Coast Rep), True West (‘Lee’; Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky), The Bad and The Better (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre), Animal and Plants (The Gershwin Hotel), Rose/Paraffin (Rattlestick Theatre), Ghosts in the Cottonwoods (Theatre 80 St. Marks), Amerissiah, Happy in The Poorhouse (Amoralists; Theatre 80 St. Marks).
CONNOR BARRETT (Barrett). The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (Dorset Theatre Festival; South Coast Repertory). Previously worked with Adam Rapp Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally on two of Rapp’s other plays: Finer Noble Gases (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; Bush Theater, London; and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the production won the Fringe First Award), and The Metal Children (Vineyard Theatre). Other theatre credits: Saul Kimmer in Adam Rapp’s production of True West (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Various work at Geva Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other New York credits include SPF and the New York Fringe Festival. Film/television: The Runaround, “Hot in Cleveland,” “We Hate Paul Revere,” “True Blood,” “Parks and Recreation,” “CSI: NY,” “Harry’s Law,” “Rita Rocks,” “Do Not Disturb,” “The Jury,” “Guiding Light.” He received his BFA from Northwestern University and his MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.
SUSAN HEYWARD (Monique). Atlantic debut! Broadway: A Trip to Bountiful. Off-Broadway: Ruined (MTC), Nathan the Wise and The Oedipus Cycle (Pearl), I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document…(New York Premiere). Regional: Sabrina Fair (Ford’s Theatre), Race (ACT), Master Builder (Yale Rep) and My Wonderful Day (Two River). Film: Poltergeist, Busted on Brigham Lane, Mother George. Television: Best known as “Detective Deena Pilgrim” on “Powers” (Sony Playstation) and “Cece” on “Vinyl” (HBO). Other television includes “Unforgettable” (CBS), “The Following” (FX), “30 Rock” (NBC), “Michael and Michael Have Issues” (Comedy Central) and “Law & Order” (NBC). BFA, Carnegie Mellon. Thanks to Adam. Love to family and friends.
KATHERINE REIS (Catherine). Atlantic Theater debut! Film: All We Had (TriBeCa Film Festival, 2016); Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog (Sundance, 2016). Television: “Bull” (CBS); “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix); “Brainy Bunch” (ABC); “Unforgettable” (CBS). Favorite theater credits include: Bring it On (Campbell); Beauty and the Beast (Babette); Carrie (Chris); Our Town (Rebecca) and Legally Blonde (Margot). I would like to thank the director and writer Adam Rapp and Atlantic Theater for this amazing opportunity. My agents, Rachel Altman and Ellen Gilbert, Broadway Workshop, Vance Barbour, Matt Newton, and Atlantic Theater for the opportunity to train in their teen program, as well as my family and friends for their unending support.
ADAM RAPP (Playwright, Director) is an award-winning playwright, theatre director, novelist, and filmmaker. He is the author of numerous plays, which include Wolf in the River (The Flea Theater), Nocturne (American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The Almeida, London, The Traverse, Edinburgh), Faster (Rattlestick), Animals & Plants (A.R.T.), Finer Noble Gases (26th Humana Festival, Rattlestick, Edinburgh Fringe, The Bush, London), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T., Edge Theatre), Blackbird (The Bush, London; Edge Theatre), Gompers (Pittsburgh City Theatre, The Arcola, London), Essential Self-Defense (Playwrights Horizons/Edge Theatre), American Sligo (Rattlestick), Bingo with the Indians (The Flea), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons), The Metal Children (The Vineyard), The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick), The Edge of Our Bodies (36th Humana Festival), Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling (Atlantic) and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf, Scott Rudin Productions at Barrow Street Theatre), which won Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best New Work, an Obie, and was named a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois, commissioned by South Coast Rep, received its world premiere at the 2014 Pacific Playwrights Festival. He directed the world premiere of Karen O’s psycho opera, Stop the Virgens, for The Creators Project at St. Ann’s Warehouse, which was then selected for The Vivid Live Festival, where it sold out the Sydney Opera House for six performances. He also directed Sam Shepard’s True West at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which went on to be named one of the 2012 Best Moments in Culture by Louisville’s N.P.R. Affiliate, WFPL. His production of Finer Noble Gases garnered a Fringe First Award at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he received The List’s Best Newcomer Prize.