Penelope speaks well of her husband, who was killed at the World Trade Center, and her daughter, Willa, wants to speak the truth.
It would mean killing her father again.
Israel Horovitz's new play stars Jill Clayburgh as Penelope, and her own daughter, Lily Rabe, as Willa, with Israel Horovitz taking the role of the dead John Kiley.
Funny and painful, the play is a ghost story for our times, when violent death can sanctify lives that are far from saintly.
Horovitz, who lives in lower Manhattan, has written directly of the impact of September 11th, notably in his film Three Weeks After Paradise, which was his testimony about his family's experiences after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
In Speaking Well of the Dead, his thoughts are with the survivors and their duty to the memory of those killed.
This powerful piece was first performed on stage at Horovitz's theatre in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with the cast who will be re-creating their roles in his new radio version of the play.
Jill Clayburgh was named by Entertainment Weekly as one of Hollywood's Twenty-Five Greatest Actresses in an end-of-the century round-up in 1999, and her work on film has regularly won high acclaim.
Her performance in Paul Mazursky's, An Unmarried Woman, won her a first Oscar nomination, and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival of 1978.
Other notable performances include her comic roles in Silver Streak, with Gene Wilder, and Semi-Tough, as well as the high drama of her Valium-addicted TV producer in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can