Sundown, Yellow Moon

February 28-April 1, 2017

A World Premiere

a nighttime play with songs by Rachel Bonds
with music & lyrics by The Bengsons
additional lyrics by Rachel Bonds
a co-production with Ars Nova
directed by Anne Kauffman

Critics’ Pick!
“Sundown, Yellow Moon is a quietly perceptive portrait of a family in simmering crisis in a beautifully acted production, featuring piquant, yearning music that is an ideal match for a play that knows the redemptive joy of singing your sorrows and finding the rhymes in a world without reason.”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times, read the full review here!

“Sundown, Yellow Moon lives in tensions between the dreamy and the ordinary, rendered with aching understatement by an excellent cast”
-Time Out NY

WP Theater joins forces with the acclaimed and adventurous theater company Ars Nova to present the world premiere of award-winning playwright Rachel Bonds’ latest offering, SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON, featuring music and lyric  from Brooklyn indie-rock duo The Bengsons (Hundred Days) and additional lyrics by Rachel Bonds (Swimmers), and directed by two-time OBIE Award winner Anne Kauffman (The Nether).

While navigating the unsettling waters of young adulthood, twin sisters Ray and Joey return home to find their father in a moment of crisis. Under the cover of late-night, small-town shadows, sleep is elusive, connections are frayed, and the southern summer heat presses in. Sundown, Yellow Moon is an ethereal, honest, funny and sad play about seeing old faces with new eyes, and the liminal space between loss and letting go.

Rachel Bonds

(Playwright) Rachel Bonds’ plays have been developed or produced by South Coast Rep, McCarter Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, Roundabout Underground, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Studio Theatre, New York Stage & Film and SPACE on Ryder Farm, among others.  She is an affiliated artist of New Georges, an Alum of EST’s Youngblood, Ars Nova’s Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm’s Working Farm; recipient of the 2014 Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville, the 2013 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award from Williamstown Theatre Festival and the 2015 Sky Cooper Prize from Marin Theatre Company. Commissions include Studio Theatre, South Coast Rep, Atlantic Theater Company, McCarter, Ars Nova/Manhattan Theatre Club and The Geffen.  Bonds is a graduate of Brown University.

Anne Kauffman

(Director) New York: A Life, Marjorie Prime (Lortel Nomination, Drama League Nomination); Detroit, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra and Maple and Vine (Playwright’s Horizons); The Nether, Smokefall (MCC); Buzzer (The Public); Belleville (Lortel Nomination, NYTW, Yale Rep); You Got Older (Drama Desk Nomination, P73 Productions); The Muscles in Our Toes (Labyrinth Theater Company); Somewhere Fun, God’s Ear (New Georges and Vineyard Theater); Stunning, Slowgirl (LCT3). Regional:  The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, Smokefall (Goodman Theatre); And No More Shall We Part, You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce, Six Degrees of Separation (Williamstown Theater Festival); 100 Days (Z Space, The Know Theater); Belleville (Yale Rep, Steppenwolf). Artistic Associate and Founding Member of The Civilians, Sundance Program Associate, Clubbed Thumb Associate Artist and co-creator of the CT Directing Fellowship, New Georges Associate Artist, Artistic Council of Soho Rep, SDC Executive Board Member.OBIES (Directing and Sustained Excellence), the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award and two Barrymore Awards.

The Bengsons

(Composer) Married duo The Bengsons have appeared across the country and around the world at such venues as Joe’s Pub (NYC), NYU’s Skirball Center (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), On The Boards (Seattle), FlynnSpace (Burlington, VT), and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa). Their indie folk opera, Hundred Days (Z Space, San Francisco; Know Theatre, Cincinnati) was awarded the TBA Award for Best New Musical. They have had three singles featured on national television on “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX). Most recently their music was featured in Anne Washburn and Rachel Chavkin’s Iphigenia in Aulis at Classic Stage Company. They are founding members of the Real Make Collective with Sonya Tayeh and Jo Lampert. Abigail Nessen Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Upcoming works include commissions with Ars Nova and New York Live Arts.

Lilli Cooper

(Ray) Broadway: Wicked (Elphaba), Spring Awakening (Original Cast). NYC and regional: Tick, Tick…Boom! (Keen Company), The Spongebob Musical (Sandy Cheeks, Broadway in Chicago), The Wildness (Ars Nova), Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (A.R.T.), Noir (NYSAF & NAMT), The Threepenny Opera (Atlantic Theater), LMNOP (Goodspeed). Television/Web: Bull (CBS), Creator of’s web shorts “It’s Not Okay, Cupid.” LaGuardia Arts High School and Vassar alum.

Peter Friedman

(Tom) Theater: Her Requiem, The Nether, Jacuzzi, Fly By Night, The Open House, The Hatmaker’s Wife, End Days, Circle Mirror Transformation, Body Awareness, Uncle Vanya, The Shaggs, After the Revolution, The Great God Pan, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, The Heidi Chronicles, Ragtime, The Common Pursuit, A Soldier’s Play, and a Nightingale Sang…, The Loman Family Picnic, Twelve Angry Men. Films: The Savages; Safe; Single White Female; The Messenger; Breaking Upwards; Love and Other Drugs. Television: The Muppet Show, Brooklyn Bridge, The Affair, High Maintenance, The Path.

Greg Keller

(Ted Driscoll) Broadway: Our Mother’s Brief Affair, Wit. Off-Broadway: Of Good Stock (MTC), The Who and The What (LCT3), Belleville (NYTW), Somewhere Fun (Vineyard), Cradle and All (MTC), The Seagull (CSC with Dianne Wiest), That Pretty Pretty, Steve & Idi (Rattlestick), Smudge (WP Theater) Regional: Seminar with Jeff Goldblum, 33 Variations with Jane Fonda (Ahmanson), Scenes From Court Life, War, Elevada (Yale Rep). Greg was a Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School and has an MFA in acting from NYU.

Anne L. Nathan

(Jean) Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Once, Sunday in the Park With George, Chicago, Assassins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ragtime. Off-Broadway: Taming Of The Shrew (Public Theatre), Wings (2ST), Music In The Air (Encores), Road Show (Public Theatre). Regional: McCarter Theatre, Kansas City Rep, The Huntington, The Citadel. Film & TV: You Must Be Joking, Sugar, Baby Mama, King of California, The Good Wife, Dirt, Law & Order, Veronica Mars, Bull, Submissions Only.

Michael Pemberton

(Bobby/DJ) Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention, I’m Not Rappaport, Not About Nightingales, Mamma Mia, Picnic and Hedda Gabler. Off-Broadway: Insignificance, Dinner With Friends, Saturday Night, Outward Bound (Drama Desk Nom), You Never Can Tell and Black Snow. Film: Bridge of Spies, We the Animals, Brooklyn’s Finest, The Family Stone. Television: The Affair, The Good Wife, Veep, Damages, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Conviction, Sleepy Hollow. Love to Andrea always and ever.

JD Taylor

(Carver) Theater credits include: peerless by Jiehae Park (Yale Rep), The Last Match (City Theatre Company), Rich Girl (The Old Globe), The Understudy (McCarter Theatre), Ed, Downloaded (Denver Center Theatre), Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette (Studio Theatre), Red (Asolo Rep & Maltz Jupiter Theatre), She Stoops To Conquer (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and various workshops with Ars Nova, LCT Directors’ Lab, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab. TV/Film credits include: Elementary, The Good Wife and The Mend. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting.

Ars Nova

(Co-Producer) Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and cross-pollination to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by the New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova was honored with a 2015 OBIE Award and a 2015 Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for their sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: 2016 Best Musical winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the critically-acclaimed world premiere of Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl currently enjoying a commercial transfer; Time Out NY’s “Best of 2014,”Jacuzzi by The Debate Society; Drama Desk nominated Charlatan by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg; the award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (Broadway transfer Fall 2016); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb; Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle nominated From Up Here by Liz Flahive; audience favorite Dixie’s Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; and star-makers At Least It’s Pink by Bridget Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

  • Rave Reviews for “Sundown, Yellow Moon”

  • Audiences Love “Sundown, Yellow Moon”

The New York Times Review: Songs Say What a Family Can’t in ‘Sundown, Yellow Moon’

“To love is to worry in “Sundown, Yellow Moon,” Rachel Bonds’s quietly perceptive portrait of a family in simmering crisis at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The characters in this beautifully acted production from Ars Nova and WP Theater, directed with probing sensitivity by Anne Kauffman, are united by a web of mutual concern that is as exasperating as it is reassuring.

When a father and his grown daughter bid good night to each other in an insomniac haze, this is their exchange of endearments: “I’m worried about you”; “I’m worried about you, too.” There’s a competitive passive aggression in their solicitude, and plenty of ego within their altruism. That doesn’t make their shared affection any less deep or genuine…” Read more

What audiences are saying about Sundown, Yellow Moon…

Playbill News: Cast Announced for “Sundown, Yellow Moon”!

Lilli Cooper and Anne L. Nathan (© David Gordon)

The world premiere of the night-time play with songs, SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON casting and creative teams have been announced on Playbill! You don’t want to miss the real, honest, funny and sad play about seeing old faces with new eyes, and the liminal space between loss and letting go.

“The cast includes Eboni Booth (Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.), Lilli Cooper (The Spongebob Musical), Peter Friedman (Synecdoche, New YorkThe Savages), Greg Keller (Our Mother’s Brief Affair), Anne L. Nathan (It Shoulda Been You), Michael Pemberton (Veep), and JD Taylor….” Click here for more information!

LISTEN! The Bengsons


Sustained Excellence of Direction

“Every play is a world all its own, and every new play is a world that a director has to explore, map, and sometimes shape. It takes resolve and patience; it takes an imagination that must build on the playwright’s vision, knowing when to trust and when to challenge. It takes an open mind and a sturdy, daring spirit. For displaying that spirit, in many seasons past, and this year with productions like Buzzer, The Nether, and You Got Older, the judges have voted an Obie for Sustained Excellence of Direction to ANNE KAUFFMAN” – Tommy Tune

ANNE KAUFFMAN to direct the world premiere of SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON by Rachel Bonds at WP Theater.

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