Press - The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois

by Adam Rapp
directed by Crispin Whittell
April 23 – May 4, 2014
Nicholas Studio

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.


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Adam Rapp

Playwright Adam Rapp.

Christina Elmore and William Apps in the world premiere of The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois by Adam Rapp.  Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.

Playwright Bio

Adam Rapp is an Obie Award-winning playwright and director. He is the author of numerous plays, which include Nocturne (A.R.T., New York Theatre Workshop), Finer Noble Gases (26th Humana Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T.), Blackbird (Bush Theatre), Essential Self-Defense (Playwrights Horizons), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons), The Metal Children (Vineyard Theatre), The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), The Edge of Our Bodies (36th Humana Festival), Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling (Atlantic Theater Company) and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Barrow Street Theatre), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote and directed the feature films Winter Passing and Blackbird, which he adapted from his play. He directed and helped create Karen O’s psycho-opera, Stop the Virgens, which premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and went on to play Australia’s Vivid Live Festival, where it sold out the Sydney Opera House. In 2006, his production of Finer Noble Gases garnered a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he received The List’s Best Newcomer Prize. Other playwriting honors include The Helen Merrill Prize, the 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright’s Fellowship, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award.