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Shouty political conversations don’t seem like the foundation of an exciting night at the theater. Yet Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays humanizes the talking heads. The four-play series chronicles the lives of members of the Apple family of Rhinebeck, N.Y., during some crucial recent political events. That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad, which will be performed in repertory at Studio Theatre, take place on the night of the 2010 midterm elections and the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, respectively. Director Serge Seiden has collected a variety of D.C. regulars to play the combative relatives, with Helen Hayes Award winners Rick Foucheux as Richard Apple and Ted van Griethuysen as his aging uncle Benjamin. These gentlemen of Washington theater should bring some gentility uncommon to cable news pundits. The show runs Nov. 13 to Dec. 29 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. $39–$75. (202) 332-3300. studiotheatre.org.