Monday, February 28, 2011

mar 11 - apr 2 | jesus hopped the 'a' train

“You afraid ta die cuz your ass know only two things gonna happen when you die; either nuthin’ or somethin’ bad!!! Ain’t no God, ain’t no light.” Angel Cruz

Rikers Island, New York. Two men sit in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Lucius Jenkins is a serial killer who awaits execution. Angel Cruz, new to the prison system, stands accused of a murder he doesn’t believe was a crime. Each day, these two prisoners are allowed one hour of sunlight, and one hour of conversation. In their separate “cages” they challenge each other with thoughts on God, faith, repentance and death. One supposedly has found God, while the other needs to find himself. Compelling, gritty, harrowing and thought provoking, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is an uncompromising drama about contradiction, contrition and hypocrisy.

The production, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, first made a crater on the New York theatre landscape when it premiered in 2000 under the direction of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The New York Times called it, “Fire-breathing. A probing, intense portrait of lives behind bars, it has the courage of its intellectual restlessness. Written in flame.”

Now under the direction of Jessie award-winning director Angela Konrad (Grace, Mourning Dove, Traveler In The Dark), Jesus hopped the ‘A’ Train will be leaving its mark on Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre’s stage.

When asked what attracted Konrad to the ‘A’ Train she shares, "It made me uncomfortable in the best possible way. Reading it, I was carried along by the characters' stories and challenged by their moral dilemmas. My favourite plays are those that make me think and make me feel, and this play definitely does both."

Michael Wipf, Co-Artistic Producer of Glass City Theatre, the company producing the show as a guest production of Pacific Theatre, says “This is a bit of a risky choice for audiences. It explores some issues of faith and forgiveness, and the gritty and sometimes grisly characters that propel the discussion forward are anything but 'God-like' or 'Christ-like.' It’s this contrast that makes ‘A’ Train so compelling.”

Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train stars Glass City Theatre’s Co-Artistic Producer Rob Olguin as Angel Cruz, Carl Kennedy as Lucius Jenkins, Kerri Norris as lawyer Mary Jane Hanrahan, Andrew McNee as prison guard Valdez, and Evan Frayne as prison guard D’Amico.

The production is stage managed by Christie Maxson with lighting and set design by
Itai Erdal. Costumes are designed by Sabrina Evertt, with sound design by Joel Stephanson. The production is proudly sponsored by John Fluevog Shoes

Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train runs from March 11th through to April 2nd. Tickets are $16.50 - $29.50 (not incl. HST). For more information contact Pacific Theatre at 604-731-5518 or visit the website

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