You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running is a collection of four unrelated one-act comedy plays by Robert Anderson.

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running
Broadway production poster
Written byRobert Anderson
Date premieredMarch 13, 1967
Place premieredAmbassador Theatre
New York City
Original languageEnglish

In The Shock of Recognition, playwright Jack Barnstable auditions Richard Pawling for a role that requires nudity and discovers the overeager actor is more than willing to show his stuff. The Footsteps of Doves focuses on Harriet and George, a married couple shopping for twin beds after many years of marriage. George, who is opposed to the change, strikes up a conversation with Jill, a considerably younger fellow shopper who shares his view. In I'll Be Home for Christmas, Chuck and Edith realize how empty their marriage has become as they await the arrival of their adult children. I'm Herbert is a scattered conversation between Herbert and Muriel, an elderly couple with memory problems who try in vain to recall their earlier relationships.

After 15 previews, the original Broadway production opened on March 13, 1967 at the Ambassador Theatre. It transferred twice, to the Broadhurst Theatre and then the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, before it completed its run of 756 performances on January 4, 1969.

Directed by Alan Schneider, the opening night cast included Eileen Heckart, Martin Balsam, George Grizzard, and Melinda Dillon. Replacements later in the run included Larry Blyden, Irene Dailey, and William Redfield.

Costume design was by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting design was by Jules Fisher.

Balsam won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. Schneider was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play but lost to Mike Nichols for Plaza Suite.


Original ProductionEdit

First presented by Jack Farren and Gilbert Cates at the Ambassador Theatre in New York City on March 13, 1967 with the following cast:[1]

The Shock of Recognition

The Footsteps of Doves

  • Salesman .... George Grizzard
  • Harriet .... Eileen Heckart
  • George .... Martin Balsam
  • Jill .... Melinda Dillon

I'll be Home for Christmas

  • Chuck .... Martin Balsam
  • Edith .... Eileen Heckart
  • Clarice .... Melinda Dillon

I'm Herbert

  • Herbert .... George Grizzard
  • Muriel ....Eileen Heckart

This production was directed by Alan Schneider, with scenery designed by Ed Wittstein, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge, and lighting by Jules Fisher

Other ProductionsEdit

Agentura HarlekýnEdit

  • From Prague's theatre of Agency Harlekýn. Directed by Pavel Háša.

Poznání šokem (The Shock of Recognition)

  • Herb Miller .... Petr Nárožný
  • Jack Barnstable .... Jiří Ptáčník
  • Richard Pawling .... Václav Vydra
  • Dorothy .... Dana Morávková or Eva Janoušková

Stopy Holubic (The Footsteps of Doves)

  • Harriet .... Libuše Švormová
  • George .... Jiří Ptáčník
  • Jill .... Dana Morávková or Eva Janoušková
  • Shopassistant .... Václav Vydra

Já jsem Herbert (I'm Herbert)


  1. ^ Anderson, Robert (1967). You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running. New York City: Dramatists Play Service. pp. 6. ISBN 0822212889.

External linksEdit