Adam Rapp
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A son is pushed beyond his limits by his father who wants him to be a great pianist. Then there is an accident in which his sister is killed. He leaves for New York where he becomes a novelist. Fifteen years later he returns home.

Production Info

Cast: 1 total (1 male)
Full Length Drama (about 75 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“‘There’s a finality in fact,’ says the narrator of Adam Rapp’s grief-laden monologue NOCTURNE, a stunning confrontation with truth that spares neither the character or the audience. The fact, simply stated, is this: ‘Fifteen years ago I killed my sister.’ So says a young man identified only as the Son, who accidentally decapitates his sibling in an auto accident and then attempts to come to terms with what he has done. This reconciliation forms the heart and soul of NOCTURNE, a startling, unnerving work of art that fiercely pushes the boundaries of theater. The play … is dense, almost novelistic, in its approach to a personal horror story. NOCTURNE … is also intensely lyrical, musical in its sounds and in its silences. Make no mistake. Rapp is an original — a distinctive voice unafraid to be too descriptive …” —Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press

“Rapp uses subtle, sensuous, bold and funny language … So detailed and poetic is the writing … that we buy and are powerfully moved by the whole thing.” —Donald Lyons, New York Post

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 5/1/2006
Pages 60
ISBN 9780881453119

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:

Originally produced by American Repertory Theater, Cambridge MA

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


12/1/2021 – 12/12/2021
The Living Room
Kansas City, MO

7/5/2021 – 7/13/2021
Out Of The Box Theatrics
New York, NY

5/1/2018 – 5/6/2018
Out Of The Box Theatrics
New York, NY

4/23/2018 – 4/30/2018
Out Of The Box Theatrics
New York, NY

11/15/2017 – 11/25/2017
Ikag Productions
Adelaide, SA, Australia


9/20/2024 – 9/29/2024
Waterloo, NY

6/3/2023 – 6/24/2023
Rosebud Theatre Company
Los Angeles, CA

2/4/2022 – 2/13/2022
Hart Theatre
Waynesville, NC

4/28/2021 – 5/9/2021
Egopo Classic Theater
Philadelphia, PA

11/13/2019 – 11/16/2019
Mn State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN

4/6/2018 – 4/7/2018
Full Fathom Productions
Boston, MA

4/22/2016 – 4/23/2016
York College
York, NE