THE STORY: Fifteen-year-old Anna’s weight makes her a target for bullies. When her mom transfers Anna to the school where she teaches in order to protect her daughter, it only makes things worse. George, Anna’s environmentalist dad, is no help at all—he’s determined to finish his new book and save the planet. Just as Anna gets suspended for retaliating with a head-butt, her estranged uncle, Terry, arrives unannounced. A heartbroken drifter with the mouth of a sailor, Terry reaches out to Anna in a way that no one ever has. Their unexpected friendship sends her parents’ rocky marriage into a tailspin as the whole family wonders: what—or who—really needs saving?
“Mr. Payne is ambitiously addressing both the state of the world (or at least its ecology) and the state of a family, while showing how each intersects with and illuminates the other.” —The New York Times.
“[A] brutally honest and tender family tale…George is a man who stands to gain the world, but could lose his family. The ending of this stirring, humane, insightful work suggests that perhaps we shouldn’t have to choose.” —Time Out New York.
“The title of Nick Payne’s wonderfully off-kilter play sounds like an answer. But what’s the question? If we knew that, we would all be wise—and nobody is wise in Payne’s messy, fumbling and huggable comedy about a messy, fumbling and huggable family. The play…is about people groping their way forward even as the sky falls. Like all of us, they are forever getting it wrong, giving up, and then going on again. There is genuine compassion here amid the high comedy and sharp observations.” —The Guardian (UK).