The City of Conversation

The City of Conversation

by  Anthony Giardina

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4m, 4f, 1boy(s)

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The City of Conversation

The City of Conversation

by  Anthony Giardina

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 4f, 1boy(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

In 1979, Washington D.C. was a place where people actually talked to each other...where adversaries fought it out on the Senate floor and then smoothed it out over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. But it was all about to change. 

In this play spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, Hester Ferris throws Georgetown dinner parties that can change the course of Washington’s politics. But when her beloved son suddenly turns up with an ambitious Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she's spent her whole life fighting for.

From the prolific pen of novelist, essayist, and playwright Anthony Giardina comes a play about politics in family, and families in politics. A searing new drama, The City of Conversation delves into the ever-changing tapestry of U.S. Government and the people who shape it off the senate floor.

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Accolades

  • NOMINEE - 2015 2 Lucille Lortel AwardsNOMINEE - 2015 Drama Desk Award, Best PlayNOMINEE - 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Off-Broadway Play

Reviews

REVIEWS

“Mr. Giardina’s stimulating play illuminates the emotional toll that living in such a house divided (and a country divided) can take on its inhabitants.” - The New York Times, Read More

"'The City of Conversation' achieves something that eludes many other plays about Washington: a savvy depiction of social skill as political art, in a city that’s defined by political science... Giardina’s handiwork presents to the world one of the most fair-minded, even compassionate views of the partisan struggles of the city’s political classes you’re likely to encounter these days." - The Washington Post, Read More

"'The City of Conversation,'...presents a peek at the political hostesses who pull the strings behind the scenes. Giardina’s homage to a lineage of great Georgetown ladies from Perle Mesta to Pamela Harriman is also an elegy for that bygone era before partisan politics took all the fun out of the party." - Variety, Read More

"No matter your political persuasion, you're very likely to feel flashes of rage and frustration. Giardina has created a microcosm of American society in one family: He brutally shows how that family is ripped apart and, more hopefully, how it could be sewn back together." - Theatremania, Read More

LINCOLN CENTER ESSAYS

Kristen Explains Bush Republicansim

And Now A Chat With Beth Dixon

Videos

  • THE CITY OF CONVERSATION montage
  • THE CITY OF CONVERSATION excerpt 1
  • THE CITY OF CONVERSATION excerpt 2
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: New Millennium/21st Century, 1980s, 1970s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The play takes place in the living room of a townhouse in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C., from Fall 1979 to January 2009. 
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes

Casting

4m, 4f, 1boy(s)
JEAN SWIFT
COLIN FERRIS*
ANNA FITZGERALD
HESTER FERRIS
GEORGE MALLONEE
CHANDLER HARRIS
CAROLYN MALLONEE
ETHAN FERRIS, at age 6
ETHAN FERRIS, at age 27*
DONALD LOGAN
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

*ETHAN and COLIN can be, and are intended to be, played by the same actor.

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Authors

Anthony Giardina

Anthony Giardina was born in Waltham, Massachusetts and educated at Fordham University. He is the author of the novels Men with Debts (1984), A Boy's Pretensions (1988), Recent History (2001) and White Guys (2006), as well as the story collection The Country of Marriage (1998). His fifth novel, Norumbega Park, was publ ...

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The City of Conversation premiered at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in June of 2014, under the direction of Doug Hughes. 

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