The Waverly Gallery


The Waverly Gallery

Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2f, 3m

Kenneth Lonergan's poignant and often hilarious play, which earned 86-year-old Elaine May a 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, is a wacky and heartrending look at the effects of senility on a family.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2f, 3m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
  • Finalist! 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    Nominee: Two 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play
    Winner! Two 2019 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play
    Nominee: 2000 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award


Gladys, the elderly matriarch of the Green family, has run an art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel for many years. The management wants to replace her less-than-thriving gallery with a coffee shop. Always irascible but now increasingly erratic, Gladys is a cause of concern to her daughter, her son-in-law, and her grandson, from whose point of view this poignant memory play is told. A wacky and heartrending look at the effect of senility on a family, The Waverly Gallery was a success in its premiere at New York’s Promenade Theatre, winning an Obie for legendary Eileen Heckart in the role of Gladys. Nineteen years later, the play premiered on Broadway, earning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play and a Tony Award for 86-year-old leading actress Elaine May.
The Waverly Gallery premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival in August 1999 under the direction of Scott Ellis. The play premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on October 25, 2018. Directed by Lila Neugebauer, the production starred 86-year-old Elaine May in a Tony Award-winning performance and featured Joan Allen, Michael Cera, David Cromer and Lucas Hedges.
GLADYS GREEN – A former lawyer and Greenwich Village activist, runs a small art gallery, 80s
ELLEN FINE – Her daughter, a psychiatrist, 50s
DANIEL REED – Ellen's son, a speechwriter, 20s
HOWARD FINE – Ellen's husband, Daniel's step-father, a psychiatrist, 50s
DON BOWMAN – A Painter and waiter from Lynn, Massachusetts, 30s
  • Time Period 1990s, 1980s
  • Setting Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 1989 to 1991.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes


“Deeply theatrical and often deeply funny.” – The New York Times

“Lonergan's play, at once loving and unsentimental, gives attention to that long, inevitable passage in a family's life when the old slip away.” – Greg Evans, Deadline

“Both one of the most beautiful things you'll ever see in a Broadway theater and one of the most profoundly sad.” – Chris Jones, The Daily News

“A play that delivers the hard truth about aging with eloquence and empathy... Kenneth Lonergan's shattering portrait of a woman's descent into senility is painful to watch, but its heartfelt honesty sets the stage for a very talented company to remind us to cherish the time we've got.” – Roma Torre, NY1

“Deftly presents senility as an exaggerated state of the natural human condition... Deeply theatrical and often deeply funny.” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times


  • Kenneth Lonergan on The Waverly Gallery

  • Spotlight on The Waverly Gallery

  • preview of The Waverly Gallery

  • Joan Allen discusses The Waverly Gallery


  • Musical Style N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal DemandsN/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size N/A (Not a musical)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


Available Formats:


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Kenneth Lonergan

Kenneth Lonergan's productions in New York include The Starry Messenger (New Group), Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons, John Houseman Theatre, Drama Desk Best Play nominee, Outer Critics Circle Best Play and John Gassner Playwriting nominee, included in the 2000-2001 Best Play ...

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