Shows featuring Karen Trumbo


Twenty years ago Emma walked out on Ulysses in the middle of the night, taking their young son with her. That’s given Ulysses two decades to write his magnum opus, perfect his naked cooking techniques, and move into a dingy trailer with a phone-eating dog. But when Emma hears that he’s also battling for his life, she returns to hash out the best and worst of their marriage, and the mysterious circumstances of the night she left.

Annapurna by Sharr White is an hilarious, heartbreaking look at the enormous power of forgiveness.

Sorry / Regular Singing

Staged Readings of the Final Installments of the Apple Family Plays

ONE SHOW: $20.00
BOTH SHOWS: $35.00
To purchase tickets please call 503.235.1101 or email

We conclude our presentation of Richard Nelson’s play cycle with staged readings of the final two installments of the Apple Family cycle. Featuring company members Karen Trumbo, Maureen Porter, Rebecca Lingafelter, Bruce Burkhartsmeier, Mike O’Connell and Isaac Lamb, this is an event not to be missed for any Third Rail followers, or newcomers eager to engage with the company.

For a truly intimate and insightful experience, JOIN THE APPLE FAMILY CAST FOR DINNER BETWEEN PERFORMANCES. Good food, good wine, and great conversation. Discuss the plays, the characters, theatre, or whatever strikes your fancy. (Proceeds from the dinner will support Third Rail and the presentation of these readings). $100 includes dinner, wine, and priority seating for both readings.  Jump on this! Space is limited.


The play transpires during the early morning of the 2012 presidential election, but the race for commander-in-chief is not the main item on the Apples’ minds. Siblings Richard, Barbara, Marian, and Jane have gathered in upstate Rhinebeck to take their mentally failing Uncle Benjamin, once a famous actor, to an eldercare facility. In addition, each member of the family has his or her own dilemma. Lawyer Richard, who once worked in state government, has just returned from an extended business trip to England and is dissatisfied with his career in private practice. Marian is coming to terms with her daughter’s suicide, while Jane wrestles with her next writing project and her relationship with her boyfriend Tim, a character in the previous plays who is in Chicago on an acting job. Barbara has the most pressing problem. She is closest to Uncle Benjamin-she shares her Rhinebeck home with him and Marian-and his advancing senility is causing him to behave in sexually inappropriate ways toward her.

Regular Singing

Is Uncle Benjamin still alive? Are Marian and Adam back together? Has Richard gone over to the dark side and become a Republican? And is everyone agreed that this country has gone to hell in the past 50 years? “Regular Singing,” the fourth and final play, takes place on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (Nov. 22, 2013), so the topic of death hangs in the air. But in the end, the scribe leaves the Apples the way he found them – very much alive and bearing witness to the times we live in.


We open our season with a play Third Rail has been dying to produce since it was the hit of Portland Center Stage’s 2009 JAW Festival, MIDDLETOWN by Will Eno. The residents of Middletown lead lives that are probably not too different from ours. They wake up, go to work, say hello to their neighbors, fix the plumbing, seek advice on parenting, and try to live lives that are as rewarding as possible. It’s all fairly ordinary. And yet…ordinary doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this quirky, word-frenzied, refraction of OUR TOWN. MIDDLETOWN is a quizzical fable about life in all its sweetness and pain, joy and wonder, beginnings and endings.