Cover photo by Annie Parisse

Ghosts in the Cottonwoods

Adam Rapp
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On the night of a terrible storm, a single mother and her younger son await the arrival of the older son, who has broken out of prison. Two others arrive before him: a stranger with a wounded leg and a girl with a suitcase. Nothing will ever be the same.

Production Info

Cast: 4 total (1 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 85 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“Adam Rapp’s play … is just the ticket — brutal Southern Midwest grotesque, otherworldly and darkly human. It takes place on a stormy night, in a one-room house furnished with scavenged car parts and a PVC-pipe kitchen zoo table; as the play begins, Bean Scully is sucking the leech welts on her naked teen-age son’s body. Her other son, Jeff, has busted out of prison and is making his way home, and as the night goes on, various wanderers — a man with a bullet in his leg, a pregnant teen, two half-mute desperadoes — show up and wreak incredible havoc. Rapp’s dialogue is beautiful mayhem, full of mudslops and dogsnakes and hog gravy, and we care just enough about these strange souls to be devastated by their pain. Though neither Rapp nor the company nor the audience may ever understand what this work is doing or why, it jolts and haunts all involved in its happy amoralism.” —The New Yorker

“Adam Rapp’s GHOSTS IN THE COTTONWOODS … is without question some of the most raw and intestine twisting theater happening in New York City.” —Slant Magazine

About the Author


  • Adam Rapp

    Adam Rapp has been the recipient of the Herbert & Patricia Brodkin scholarship, two Lincoln Center Le Compte De Nuoy Awards, a fellowship to the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the 1999 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting, a 2000 Roger L. Stevens Award from The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, a 2000 suite residency with Mabou Mines, the 2001 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, Boston's Elliot Norton Award and was short-listed for the 2003 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His plays include NOCTURNE (A.R.T., Off-Broadway at NYTW), GHOSTS IN THE COTTONWOODS (Victory Gardens; The Arcola, London), ANIMALS AND PLANTS (A.R.T.), BLACKBIRD (The Bush, London; Pittsburgh City Theatre; Off-Broadway with Edge Theater), STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS (A.R.T., Off-Broadway with Edge Theater), FINER NOBLE GASES (26th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, Off-Broadway at Rattlestick), FASTER (Off-Broadway at Rattlestick), TRUEBLINKA (Off-Broadway at the Maverick Theater), DREAMS OF THE SALTHORSE (Encore, S.F.) and GOMPERS (Pittsburgh City Theatre; The Arcola, London). His first anthology of plays, Plays by Adam Rapp, is published by Broadway Play Publishing. His new collection of plays, Stone Cold Dead Serious: And Other Plays, is available in a trade edition by Faber & Faber. His first feature film was Winter Passing, starring Ed Harris, Will Ferrell, and Zooey Deschanel, which he wrote and directed for Stratus Films. He is the author of the young adult novels Missing the Piano (Viking/HarperCollins), The Buffalo Tree (Front Street/HarperCollins), The Copper Elephant (Front Street/HarperCollins), Little Chicago (Front Street), 33 Snowfish (Candlewick Press) and Under the Wolf, Under the Dog (Candlewick Press), for which he was recently short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Recent directing credits include his plays TRAIN STORY at The Cherry Lane and the Off-Broadway premiere of BLACKBIRD, which was nominated for two Drama Desk awards. Projects include the graphic novel Decelerate Blue for the new imprint First Second, the adult novel The Year of Endless Sorrows, published by Farrar Strauss & Giroux, and his play ESSENTIAL SELF-DEFENSE. A graduate of Clarke College in Dubuque, IA, Rapp also completed a two-year playwriting fellowship at Juilliard. He currently lives in New York City where he is the resident playwright for Edge Theater Company. He was born in Chicago and raised in Joliet.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 6/30/2014
Pages 58
ISBN 9780881455434

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

First produced by Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Ghosts in the Cottonwoods is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC