Amy Herzog’s Provocative Play “After the Revolution” Reveals Secrets and Lies of a Radical Leftist Family

The "After the Revolution" cast includes (from left) John Paul Middlesworth, Jess Jones, and Jack Prather (photo by Jonathan Young)
The "After the Revolution" cast includes (from left) John Paul Middlesworth, Jess Jones, and Jack Prather (photo by Jonathan Young)

The "After the Revolution" cast includes (from left) John Paul Middlesworth, Jess Jones, and Jack Prather (photo by Jonathan Young)
The "After the Revolution" cast includes (from left) John Paul Middlesworth, Jess Jones, and Jack Prather (photo by Jonathan Young)

Deep Dish Theater Company will open its 11th season on Aug. 26th, with Park Slope, NJ dramatist Amy Herzog’s provocative play, After the Revolution, which reveals secrets and lies of three generations of a radical leftist family. After the Revolution will run Aug. 26-28, Aug. 31-Sept. 4, and Sept. 7-11 and 14-17 in Deep Dish’s storefront theater at the Dillard’s end of University Mall in Chapel Hill, NC.

According to Deep Dish Theater Company:

“The Josephs are a family of activists — radical, strong-willed, and happier arguing Marxist politics than facing the effects they have on one another. When Emma, granddaughter of a blacklisted economist, invokes her ancestors’ name in an effort to liberate an imprisoned leftist, she finds her legacy is not at all what she was led to believe.

‘After the Revolution is quite an astonishing play,’ said [Deep Dish founding artistic] director Paul Frellick. ‘It is a beautifully crafted study of how we pass on ideals from generation to generation, and it feels like the kind of play a writer would produce at the end of her career, not — as is the case with Ms. Herzog — at the outset. Her writing has a rueful wisdom that belies her age.’

“This Deep Dish production [of After the Revolution] boasts a talented cast, including Patsy Clarke, Susannah Hough, Jess Jones, John Paul Middlesworth, Omar Morales, Jack Prather, Rod Rich, and Mara Thomas.

“The design staff includes Rob Hamilton (set), Liz Droessler (lights), LeGrande Smith (costumes), Megan Thrift (properties), and Becca Easley (sound). Jen Bauer will stage manage.

“Dramaturg Karen Blansfield will give a pre-show ‘Meet the Play’ talk on Friday, Sept. 2nd, at 7 p.m….

“The theater will present post-performance discussions on Thursday, Sept. 8th (a ‘Meet the Designers’ discussion with the production staff), and Sunday, Sept. 11th, with the cast and Dr. Barbara True-Weber of Meredith College [in Raleigh].

“The Deep Dish Book Selection, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson [], will be discussed on Monday, Sept. 12th, at 7 p.m. at Flyleaf Books [(, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514]….

“The Deep Dish Theater Company is committed to presenting compelling, human-centered dramatic work that contributes to the cultural richness of the Triangle area and challenges audiences to explore concerns of the community and the world-at-large.”

First produced in July 2009 on the Nikos Stage of the Williamstown Theater Festival in western Massachusetts, After the Revolution made its Off-Broadway debut, directed by Carolyn Cantor, on Nov. 10, 2010 at Playwrights Horizons, where it ran through Dec. 12, 2010.

In reviewing previous productions of After the Revolution:

BackStage claims the play “crackles with intelligence and is laced with welcome wit,” and New York Press praised the play’s “refreshing refusal to grant the audience easy answers.”

The New York Times critic Charles Isherwood called After the Revolution “smart [and] engrossing” and added: “Ms. Herzog elucidates the personal history of three generations of Josephs with impressive ease, in scenes that crackle with lively, natural dialogue that illuminates the underlying strains in this unusual clan, always happier to argue the legacies of Stalin and Castro than to explore the pain they cause one another.”

The New Yorker added: “After the Revolution is a shrewd, ironic meditation on what we do with history, how we appropriate it for our own psychological needs. Among the play’s many pleasures — a firm grasp of historical paradox, sharp dialogue — the most satisfying is the way the characters struggle through their differences to listen to one another. The ability to listen is, perhaps, the definition of love. [Playwright Amy] Herzog’s accomplishment is to trap this rare sense of connection.”

Deep Dish Theater Company presents AFTER THE REVOLUTION at 8 p.m. Aug. 26 and 27, 2 p.m. Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 8 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3, 2 p.m. Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8, 8 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10, 2 p.m. Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 and 15, and 8 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17 in its performance space between The Print Shop and the future home of the Public Library at the Dillard’s end of University Mall, at the intersection of Estes Dr. and U.S. 15-501, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.

TICKETS: $17 ($15 seniors) Wednesday and Thursday and $19 ($17 seniors) Friday-Sunday, except $10 a ticket on “Cheap Dish Night” Aug. 31st (door sales only).

BOX OFFICE: 919/968-1515 or






The Play: (Dramatists Play Service, Inc.) and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).

The Playwright: ( and (Internet Off-Broadway Database.


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).