The Apple Family Cycle

11/13/13 - 1/5/14


Studio presents the first two plays in Richard Nelson’s quartet of plays about the Apple siblings and their extended family. Set at successive meals over the course of four years, the tensions and compromises, affections and resentments of the Apple Family’s personal lives play out against a rapidly changing America. Presented in rotating repertory.

That Hopey Changey Thing: It’s 7 pm on the eve of Obama’s first midterm election, and Barbara’s hosting dinner for the family at her Rhinebeck, NY home. Over the course of a meal, the Apples delve into lost family history, the social meaning of manners, and the fragile state of the American body politic.

Sweet and Sad: One year later, Barbara hosts a lunch on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Uncle Benjamin is going downhill, Marian has moved in, and Richard—who was working in the Trade Center a decade before—tries to treat the day like any other.

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Play Name

The Apple Family Plays are underwritten by an anonymous donor in honor of Florence and Sam.


The Artists

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Production Team


Debra Booth

Debra Booth has a long history with Studio, where she has designed White Pearl, TranslationsThe WolvesThe FatherThe Hard ProblemConstellationsThe Apple Family CycleJumpers for GoalpostsBellevilleCockEdgar & Annabel, Bachelorette, Moonlight, Blackbird, My Children! My Africa!The Pillowman, and many others. Her international work includes premiere opera Marco Polo (Tan Dun/Martha Clarke) in Munich, Hong Kong, and New York. Regionally, her credits include Sooner/Later and Vicuna at Mosaic Theater Company; Small Mouth Sounds at Round House Theatre; Richard IIIThe Collection, and The Lover at the Shakespeare Theatre Company; Marisol at Hartford Stage and The Public Theater; TryingThe Illusion, and Happy Days at Portland Stage; the New York premiere of Angels in America at The Juilliard School; Broken Glass at Philadelphia Theatre Company (Barrymore Award nomination); and A Moon for the Misbegotten at Yale Rep. Debra is the recipient of a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts design grant. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. 

(As of February 2020)


Daniel MacLean Wagner

Daniel MacLean Wagner served as Resident Lighting Designer at Studio Theatre from 1984-1997, designing more than 50 productions. He recently designed The Apple Family Cycle (2015) in the Milton Theatre, Bad Jews in the Mead Theatre, The Apple Family Plays (2013) in the Milton Theatre, and 4000 Miles in the Mead Theatre. He has designed more than 400 productions at many other theatres, including Arden Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, New Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Portland Stage Company, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, Horizons Theatre, Potomac Theatre Project, Rep Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Olney Theatre Center. He is an eight-time recipient of the Helen Hayes Award, for which he has received 28 nominations. Recent designs include Awake and Sing! at Olney Theatre; Fool for Love, Seminar, and This at Round House Theatre; and Freud's Last Session at Theater J; upcoming productions include Freud’s Last Session at New Repertory Theatre. Mr. Wagner holds the rank of Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, where he served as Professor of Lighting Design from 1990-2014 and Director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies from 2001-2012.

(As of October 2015)


Helen Huang

Helen Huang designs her 29th production at Studio with White Pearl. Her regional credits include Alice in Wonderland at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Great Leap at Guthrie Theater; Matilda the Musical at The Children’s Theatre, Minneapolis; and Miss Bennet and Christmas at Pemberley at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. DC area credits include JQA at Arena Stage; A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Roundhouse; Fences at Ford’s Theatre; Me…Jane at The Kennedy Center; and Fickle: A Fancy French Farce at Olney Theatre Center. She has received a Helen Hayes Award and an Ivey Award. Helen is a professor of MFA Costume Design at University of Maryland, College Park.

(As of October 2019)


Erik Trester

Erik Trester previously designed projections for the Studio Theatre productions of The Night Watcher, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Grey Gardens, A Number, This Is How It Goes, and The Long Christmas Ride Home. His Studio 2ndStage credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Passing Strange, Fucking A, Jerry Springer: The Opera, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, and autobahn. Mr. Trester is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.

(As of November 2013)


Adrien-Alice Hansel

Adrien-Alice Hansel is the Literary Director at Studio, where she has dramaturged the world premieres of  Queen of Basel, The Remains, No SistersI Wanna Fucking Tear You ApartAnimalLaughRed SpeedoDirtLungs, and The History of Kisses as well as productions of Cry It Out,Translations, Curve of Departure, The EffectWig Out!Straight White MenCloud 9Hedda GablerConstellationsJumpers for GoalpostsBad Jews (twice), The Apple Family PlaysInvisible ManSucker PunchThe Golden Dragon, and The New Electric Ballroom, among others. Prior to joining Studio, she spent eight seasons at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she headed the literary department and coordinated project scouting, selection, and development for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She also served as production dramaturg on roughly 50 new, contemporary, and classic plays there, including premieres by Naomi Wallace, Gina Gionfriddo, Kirk Lynn and Rude Mechs, Rinne Groff, The Civilians, Anne Bogart and SITI Company, Jordan Harrison, and John Belluso. She is the co-editor of eight anthologies of plays from Actors Theatre and editor of eight editions of plays through Studio. Adrien-Alice holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. 

(As of April 2019)


John Keith Hall

John Keith Hall's DC credits include many productions at Studio Theatre including Bad Jews, Choir Boy, Water by the Spoonful, Tribes, Torch Song Trilogy, 4000 Miles, Sucker Punch, In The Red And Brown Water, The History Boys, Adding Machine: A Musical, and The Road To Mecca; Hir, The Nether, and An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Soon, SCKBSTD, and West Side Story at Signature Theatre; Sweeney Todd, Mary Poppins, and The Producers at Olney Theatre Center.  Regional credits include several seasons as a Resident Stage Manager at The Barter Theatre in Virginia where he supervised over 40 productions, Shadowland Stages in New York, and Virginia Musical Theatre in Virginia Beach. A graduate of Virginia’s Longwood University, Mr. Hall is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

(As of September 2017)


Elizabeth Dinkova

Elizabeth Dinkova is the Artistic Apprentice at Studio Theatre, where she has assistant directed Water by the Spoonful, Tribes, The Apple Family Plays, and Torch Song Trilogy. She graduated from Reed College with a BA in theatre and psychology in 2013. While at Reed, she directed many productions, including King Lear, The Suede Jacket, and The Balance. She also directed Female Kingdom at the Bulgarian Theatre in Seattle and the new play Intertwined at Sfumato Theatre’s Small Season Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria. Other assistant directing credits include The Bacchae for Kim Wield and Hamlet for Javor Gardev at the Ivan Vazov Bulgarian National Theatre. Ms. Dinkova will begin pursuing her MFA in directing at the Yale School of Drama this fall.


Buoyant and moving plays…in a quiet way, thrilling.
Washington Post
Directed with great sensitivity by Serge Seiden…The cast is a murderer’s row of DC’s most celebrated actors…
Washington City Paper

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