EARLY SUNDAY MORNING
A PLAY BY DARA O'BRIEN
After twenty years of creative and professional struggle, the American painter Edward Hopper reconnects with his old schoolmate, the artist Josephine Nivison. The joining of their lives brings seismic change to both. In the summer of 1923, Edward and Jo, both unrecognized painters in their early forties, become reacquainted. Jo, the more established of the two, inspires Edward to try watercolor; the results are exciting. Jo arranges for Edward to participate in a watercolor show at the Brooklyn Museum, where he wins the show's purchase prize and sells his first painting in ten years. As their relationship continues, Edward seeks more from Jo, who resists, focusing on her career. He convinces her to marry him, and newfound intimacy escalates their conflict. Jo is caught between her interdependence with Edward and her need to maintain her own identity as an artist. She becomes both his fiercest advocate and a deeply resentful competitor. Within a few months of their marriage, Edward attains long-awaited creative and commercial success. As his reputation skyrockets, Jo's declines. What is the price of genius, and who pays?
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"EARLY SUNDAY MORNING finds a behavioral texture for the life of Edward Hopper. This is an incredibly intricate thing to achieve, and the play achieves it seamlessly. I know very, very few plays or movies about someone as singular as Edward Hopper that really manage this... The play lingers, not only like a Hopper painting does but in the way it does.
"This play is unique, haunting, and easy to produce, so long as you have two wonderful actors. But there are a lot of wonderful actors who could play these parts, and would in fact be eager to play them."
"The writing swept me into their lives. I have read a lot of plays, and it's unusual to feel this kind of total naturalness for an actor. I didn't have to manufacture the story. Dara's beautiful (and often very witty—there were so many laughs!) words & dialogue created the people effortlessly; the ideas and the things they struggled for were crystal clear. I was impressed and inspired!"
“WHAT WAS DIFFICULT WAS THE TRAVEL, WHICH, ON ARRIVAL, IS FORGOTTEN.”
—LOUISE GLÜCK, EURYDICE
Dramatists Guild of America
AEA • SAG-AFTRA