Field of Mars
In Field of Mars, an Applebee’s restaurant in Chapel Hill is used as a means to measure the progress of primates from hunter-gatherer to fast-casual dining experience. After a brief exploration into color and light, Adam and Eve meet, then are manipulated by God. At the restaurant in Chapel Hill, two songwriters take a corner booth to meet two younger musicians with the hope of selling them a song. They order. After the deal fails, one of the songwriters talks to the bartender, who also plays in a band. Back at the booth, the musicians and the other songwriter argue about music. Meanwhile, workers and customers interact to make a fast-casual dining experience. After the bartender suffers a panic attack, the songwriter at the bar and bartender step outside. Act II ranges wider, moving between past, present and future: The Applebee’s is described after it has gone out of business. Two actors prepare to leave the theater and fade into the horizon, a woman takes a hike in the desert while talking on the phone with a friend; two blobs evolve into bipeds; followed by a vignette about the animal instincts of coupling and destruction moving through generations. Meanwhile, back in Chapel Hill, the staff continue their work.

Commissioned and produced by NYU Skirball in association with Under The Radar Festival, and co-commissioned by The Walker Art Center with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Written and directed by Richard Maxwell

Cast: Lakpa Bhutia, Nicholas Elliott, Jim Fletcher, Eleanor Hutchins, Paige Martin, Brian Mendes, James Moore, Philip Moore, Steven Thompson, Tory Vazquez and Gillian Walsh

Set and Lights: Sascha van Riel
Costumes: Kaye Voyce
Producer: Nicholas Elliott
Technical Director: Dirk Stevens
Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Katiana Rangel
Assistant Stage Manager: Almog Cohen-Kashi
Production Assistant: Tim Reid
NYCP Company Manager: Eric Magnus

Production History

NYU Skirball Center for the Arts, New York City, January 19-29, 2023


"Field of Mars" by Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 2023
"Review: God And Man At Applebee’s In ‘Field of Mars’" by David Cote, Observer, 2023


Field of Mars is commissioned by NYU Skirball and the Walker Art Center with support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. New York City Players is supported by the Howard Gilman Foundation. New York City Players is also supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Major support has also been granted to New York City Players by Charline von Heyl and Christopher Wool, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the David and Leni Moore Family Foundation, Cecily Brown and Rita Ackermann.