The Kennedy Center

The Gabriels

The Gabriels Trilogy: Full-Day Marathon

Saturday, January 7, 2017 - Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Gabriels Theater

Tony-winning playwright/director Richard Nelson (The Apple Family Plays) and The Public Theater present this wildly relevant and fiercely human new three-play cycle, which chronicles a year in the life of one family who reunite "in real time" at three different points across 2016 to celebrate, remember, and wait for the world to change.

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A New York Times "Top Play of 2016"
#1 of New York Magazine's "10 Best Theater Events of the Year"
"The most profound achievement in topical theater in this country"--The New York Times


Spend a Saturday or a Sunday immersed in powerful theater! Tickets purchased via this page are for ALL THREE CHAPTERS of the trilogy performed back-to-back on a weekend day of your choosing. You MUST retain your ticket for entry to all three plays.

Weekend marathon schedule:

- Hungry begins at 1:30 p.m.
- What Did You Expect? begins 4:15 p.m.
- Women of a Certain Age begins at 8 p.m.

Marathoners enjoy 20% off at the KC Café and Roof Terrace Restaurant. Show your ticket for the discount! See details below.*


Choose three separate days during the run to see EACH INDIVIDUAL SHOW, which can be purchased separately via these links:

- Hungry (Tuesday evenings)
- What Did You Expect? (Wednesday evenings)
- Women of a Certain Age (Thursday evenings)


The Kennedy Center presents the Public Theater production of this highly acclaimed new play trilogy written and directed by Tony Award winner Richard Nelson (James Joyce's The Dead). Just as his triumphant 2013 cycle The Apple Family Plays followed the lives of a particular household, The Gabriels chronicles a year in the life of a neighboring family who reunite "in real time" at three different points across 2016 to celebrate, remember, and wait for the world to change. History and politics, art and culture, love and hate are all on the table as the Gabriels gather in the kitchen of the house they grew up in--ultimately revealing the deep, human impact of one of the most extraordinary years in American history.
The three unique productions that make up the trilogy--Hungry, What Did You Expect?, and Women of a Certain Age--were created at the Public Theater with a core acting company (Meg Gibson, Lynn Hawley, Roberta Maxwell, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, and Amy Warren) in the spring, summer, and fall of 2016 respectively. Coming with the original cast direct from NYC to the Kennedy Center, all three plays can either be experienced in a special full-day weekend marathon or seen individually on different nights.   

Recommended for age 14 and up.


Hungry is "the most resonantly topical and emotionally engaging play of this election year."
--The New York Times

What Did You Expect? "wears its topicality with modest stealth… It is a testament to Mr. Nelson's well-honed craft, and that of his cast, that these topics are seldom addressed directly yet are embedded in the play's every fragment. His family cycles inhabit the here and now with an unobtrusive thoroughness I've never encountered elsewhere in the theater."
--The New York Times

Women of a Certain Age is "thoughtful, meditative, hesitant, self-critical and, above all else, quiet. Nelson and his inspired cast have turned the story of one beleaguered family into an arresting parable of decline in educated middle-class America."
--Financial Times


Each play in the Cycle runs 1 hour, 45 minutes, with NO intermission. There is a one-hour interval between the first two plays, and a two-hour interval between the second and third plays.

A performance note from playwright Richard Nelson:

"Why don't the actors speak up?" It has long been assumed that it was the actors' job to ‘project' their voices out to the very back row of a theater. To achieve this, actors found ‘sweet spots' on stage; and of course found it helpful to face directly out to the audience. The effect of this, of course, was that the play was being "shown" or "presented" to an audience, who could then sit happily back and watch it.

With The Gabriels, as with my previous series The Apple Family Plays, I am trying to create something else: an intimate world of very human conversations that you will want to lean forward to witness and overhear, as if you were watching and listening through a half opened window or keyhole. My hope is that with these plays, you will want to actively participate, by leaning in and actively listening. I hope you enjoy the plays." 

If you have questions or concerns about an accommodation for a person with a hearing loss, please contact our Accessibility Office at (202) 416-8727 or or visit our website.


*All marathon ticketholders can enjoy a 20% discount in the KC Café and/or Roof Terrace Restaurant on the day of their performance. The KC Café will be open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all show dates. The Roof Terrace Restaurant will be open for dinner on all Saturdays (1/7, 1/14 & 1/21) but only one Sunday (1/8) during the run. The Roof Terrace Restaurant will also be open for brunch on Sunday 1/8 & 1/15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required for the Roof Terrace Restaurant. Patrons must show their ticket stub from that same day's performance of The Gabriels marathon to receive their discount.