Playwright Richard Greenberg's Triple-Play Season Was Nurtured in an Unlikely Workplace

By Jonathan Mandell
24 Mar 2013

Judith Light stars in The Assembled Parties.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Greenberg considers it a triumph that he recently convinced Meadow to come to Moonstruck to discuss The Assembled Parties, the eighth play of his that MTC has produced. "I felt so powerful." ("Actually," Meadow says, "I used to go to that diner all the time.")

At one point in the new play, a visitor named Jeff, awed by the family's apartment, thinks he has finally found in its 14 rooms the real New York: "It's like you go to New York and you look for New York. But it isn't there. But it's here."

Greenberg explains that his own experience inspired the line. "I came to New York and it was fascinating and intimidating and yielding, and all the stuff it's supposed to be. But whatever the abstract essence I was seeking, I couldn't find exactly that" — until he was invited to an apartment near Central Park. "I thought: 'Oh yes, here is New York.'"

All eight of Greenberg's plays produced by MTC have been set wholly or in part in New York City, as have most of his ten plays that have been on Broadway, including his best-known, Take Me Out, for which he won a Tony Award in 2003, about a star New York baseball player coming out as gay.

"Helen Merrill said, 'I think you're going to be a New York writer.' I guess it more or less has turned out that way."

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