The Christians OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    August 28, 2015
    Closing:
    October 25, 2015

    Theater: Playwrights Horizons / 416 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

    Synopsis: 

    Ten years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was a modest storefront. Now it houses thousands, with a coffee shop in the lobby and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation’s beliefs. Backed by a live choir, The Christians is both epic and unexpectedly intimate, an unflinching look at faith in America — and its power to unite or divide.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Christians

    In ‘The Christians,’ a Schism Over Fire and Brimstone

    Charles Isherwood

    September 17, 2015: Religious beliefs evolve, just as people do, in ways good and bad. But they rarely change quite as suddenly as in “The Christians,” Lucas Hnath’s softly mesmerizing drama about a schism that arises in an evangelical megachurch. In this terrific play about the mystery of faith, and how religion can tear people apart just as it can bring them together, a revelation experienced by the pastor causes a potentially disastrous rupture in the congregation. “The Christians,” which opened on Thursday at Playwrights Horizons, is the first important new play of the young fall season. It has been ingeniously staged by the director, Les Waters, as a stylized Sunday service. We are in a plush church somewhere in America. A giant white cross, elegantly backlit, shines from the rear wall. Beams of gleaming wood surround the glass pulpit, and digital video screens depict celestial-looking visions of clouds bathed in golden light. A full choir is also present, rising to sing at regular intervals. Arrayed before them in stately chairs are the church principals: the founding pastor, Paul (Andrew Garman); his demure wife, Elizabeth (Linda Powell); the associate pastor, Joshua (Larry Powell); and an elder, Jay (Philip Kerr).

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