The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center
Presented by Signature Theatre
By Annie Baker
Directed By Lila Neugebauer
Phillip James Brannon, Josh Charles, Josh Hamilton, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Danny McCarthy, Emily Cass McDonnell, Brian Miskell, Will Patton, Nicole Rodenburg
Scenic Design: Laura Jellinek
Costume Design: Kaye Voyce
Lighting Design: Tyler Micoleau
Sound Design: Bray Poor
Choeography: David Neumann
Stage Manager: Laura Smith
First Performance April 4, 2017
Opening April 23, 2017
Final Performance May 28, extended through June 4, 2017
Submit a review for The Antipodes
A play about people telling stories about telling stories. Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker, who The New York Times has called “one of the freshest and most talented dramatists to emerge Off Broadway in the past decade,” returns for the second production of her Signature residency with The Antipodes.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
Just exactly how many kinds of stories are there, anyway? The tallies vary in “The Antipodes,” Annie Baker’s in-all-ways fabulous new play about professional fabulators in pursuit of the ultimate yarn.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
When good playwrights are unable to write, they sometimes write bad plays about being unable to write. Annie Baker, who is normally a very good writer (of plays including Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner “The Flick”), has written such a play in “The Antipodes.” A team of brainstorming screenwriters — played by a cast that includes Josh Charles and Josh Hamilton — drone on at stupefying length about whatever pops into their empty heads without ever coming up with a decent pitch for a TV project. The exercise is painful for these brain-dead writers, but pure torture for audiences.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
With her gripping new play The Antipodes, which just opened at the Pershing Square Signature Center, Annie Baker considers one of the artist’s eternal dilemmas: What happens when you give everything you have to the process of creation and it’s simply not enough? If people want you to—no, scratch that. If people expect—nope, still not right. If people need you to tell a story and you can’t, what does that mean for you? What does it mean for them? And, really, what does it mean for the world?
Charles McNulty – Los Angeles Times
All that Baker, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Flick,” makes clear in this by turns tantalizing and frustrating work is that they are in the business of spinning yarns. Fiction is their occupation — a premise that allows this playwright, whose micro art finds drama in the interstices of stories, to slyly comment on a culture that fetishizes epic escape.
Jesse Green – Vulture
The pinprick insights, particularly into the macho gamesmanship of such rooms, are sharp and often hilarious. Still, I wonder whether The Antipodes will eventually prove to have been a transitional piece, an exorcism of one kind of story-monster to make room for another.
Tim Teeman – The Daily Beast
So, what possible mystery awaits the seven attractive and casually dressed people sitting around an office conference table in The Antipodes, directed by Lila Neugebauer? And what mystery awaits the audience, because Baker’s play—recently extended for a third time to June 4 at the Signature Theatre in New York—is its own baffling puzzle.
Mark Shenton – The Stage
The drama, such as it is, comes from the delicate interplay of the actors. Director Lila Neugebauer orchestrates them with nuance and feeling. The highly watchable ensemble includes superb TV actor Josh Charles (Will in The Good Wife), whose easy naturalism on screen is translated into an effortless presence here. Veteran stage and screen actor Will Patton also lends a quiet authority to the boss of the writers’ group.
Joe McGovern – Entertainment Weekly
Director Lila Neugebauer ably keeps the material alive, including by twice employing an amazing theatrical sleight of hand, wherein lunch appears on the conference room table seemingly from out of thin air. That’s a magic spark that fans of Baker’s have perhaps been too primed to expect. The Antipodes, echoing its own plot, is essentially an Annie Baker spitball session. And she’s built enough capital and audience trust to throw an experiment our way, even if it doesn’t stick to the wall.
Frank Scheck – The Hollywood Reporter
Annie Baker’s new work is described in publicity materials as “a play about people telling stories about telling stories.” So it’s all the more ironic — the main joke, really — that The Antipodes, being given its world premiere at the Signature Theater, doesn’t actually have a story. Fans of the playwright’s earlier works — including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flick and John — will find much to admire in this deliberately ambiguous effort, while others are likely to be bemused or, worse, frustrated.