Thursday, October 10, 2013

"A big-little play about faith in America - and the trouble with changing your mind."

Well, this looks fascinating.  I wonder whether Hnath's The Christians will be edgy and controversial or bland and diluted.  I'm hoping for the former, but it will be  interesting to see how this develops, either way.

Actors Theatre of Louisville to premiere commissioned work The Christians by Lucas Hnath
during the 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays

Lucas Hnath’s new play, The Christians, will receive its world premiere at Actors Theatre during the 38th Festival of New American Plays. The Christians, which was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville, will be directed by Les Waters and performed in the Pamela Brown Auditorium. The production will begin previews on March 4, open on March 6 and run through April 6, 2014.

Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was nothing more than a modest storefront. Now he presides over a congregation of thousands, with classrooms for Sunday School, a coffee shop in the lobby, and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. Today should be a day of celebration. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundations of his church’s belief. A big-little play about faith in America—and the trouble with changing your mind.

Lucas Hnath says, “I’ve wanted to write this play for at least ten years now.  Another way of saying that is that I’ve been avoiding writing this play for at least ten years. Why? Well, it's rather difficult—and I'd even say dangerous—to write about something as personal and ineffable as faith. Actors Theatre of Louisville has been my artistic home base for the last couple of years; it’s the theatre that gave me my first professional production. When Les Waters commissioned me to write a new play, it seemed that I ought to write my most ambitious play, totally go for broke. And so I’ve written The Christians in an attempt to take on the subject of faith without irony and without preaching to any choir. Les has been an integral part of the tradition and aesthetics that have influenced me the most. The opportunity to collaborate with him on this play feels like a kind of homecoming or full circle movement.”

“Lucas Hnath is an incredibly talented writer and is fast becoming a major voice in contemporary American theatre,” says Actors Theatre’s Artistic Director Les Waters. “Actors Theatre has championed Lucas’ work since producing his ten-minute play The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith with our Apprentice/Intern Company in 2010, and we premiered his full-length play Death Tax in the Humana Festival two years later. I am honored to include this vital new commission in the 2014 Festival lineup.”

The full lineup of the Humana Festival of New American Plays will be announced on Nov. 10.

Learn more about Actors' Theatre of Louisville's Festival of New American Plays.

Read more about Lucas Hnath at the ATL Website.