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A play by Lucas Hnath

2017 Tony Award Nominee

Directed by Steve Umberger

September 13- October 1

Booth Playhouse • Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

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What do you believe?

RETURN TO TOP

“A terrific play about the mystery of faith.”

– New York Times

 

What do you ​believe? Why do you​ believe it? And what would you sacrifice for those beliefs? ​Those questions drive​ the provocative new play The Christians, receiving its Charlotte premiere after productions around the country. Set in a megachurch in today's America​, this compelling​ story revolves around a pastor who challenges his congregation with ​a radical ​new definition of faith they could never have predicted. Critics have raved about this unique play's ability to represent all points of view, including the unaffiliated. What do you believe?

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CREATIVE
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Photography: Donna Bise

SEE FULL PRODUCTION TEAM

 

The Christians is produced by The Playworks Group in association with The Pine Hill Project.

SEP 13 - OCT 1Booth Playhouse • Charlotte, NC

THREE WAYS TO BUY TICKETS

ONLINEBuy single ticketsonline exclusively at blumenthalarts.orgBY PHONE SINGLE TICKETS:704-372-1000 GROUPS:704-728-7038IN PERSONBlumenthal Performing ArtsBox Office, located in theBelk Theater Lobby130 N. Tryon St. • Charlotte

 

GROUP TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE!

Click here for more information on group tickets.

 

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

TICKETS

*Optional 15 minute post-performance discussion with actors, production team members, and local leaders in the faith community.

 

The Christians runs 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission.

 

CAST
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Megachurch pastor in The Christians provokes this unanswerable question.

The Charlotte Observer

 

“A fast paced production that leaves breathing space....”     READ MORE

 

A play about a megachurch? Sounds like a natural for Charlotte.

Charlotte Observer

 

The Christians is neither an indictment of Christianity nor a pious parade of religious platitudes. That makes it a potential bridge in these polarized times for people of different political and religious stands to meet somewhere in the middle."    READ MORE

 

The Christians on Charlotte Talks.

WFAE

 

Actor April C. Turner, director Steve Umberger, and minister Val Rosenquist joined Mike Collins on "Charlotte Talks" to discuss the play's many compelling questions. Click link to listen to the podcast on WFAE's web site.    LISTEN

 

Blumenthal’s The Christians inspires introspection, conversation.

QNotes

 

“…the questions raised are relatable to virtually anyone, with or without religious practice.”    READ MORE

 

Sacrifice and direction plot The Christians.

The Charlotte Post

 

Umberger is excited to be working on the play “in a way that reminds me why I like doing this work,” he said. “Theatre is sometimes perceived as ‘elitist,’ so unfortunately sometimes we have the feeling we’re ‘preaching to the choir.’ So it’s great to find a play that speaks to a much bigger choir – literally.”    READ MORE

 

Steve Umberger of Angels in America Fame Returns With The Christians.

Creative Loafing

 

“Set in a megachurch, The Christians fits Charlotte like a glove. After building up his church from a storefront acorn to a mighty oak, Pastor Paul delivers a progressive sermon that proposes to take his church and all who belong to it on a spiritual hairpin turn.”    READ MORE

 

Church Splits Are Hell. This Play About One Isn’t.

Christianity Today

 

“Lucas Hnath’s The Christians gets complicated human and church life right.

 

…What sets The Christians apart is that Hnath is doing what great playwrights do: he is exploring human motivations and relationships with a sometimes-painful commitment to honesty that supersedes his own prejudices and lets the characters live and breathe as real human beings...”    READ MORE

 

In The Christians, a Schism Over Fire and Brimstone

The New York Times

 

“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.”     READ MORE

 

Believers Vs. Believers in Lucas Hnath’s The Christians

American Theatre

 

Les Waters, artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, interviews playwright Lucus Hnath.     READ MORE

 

Lucas Hnath's The Christians Wins This Year's Kesselring Prize

Broadway World

 

“The Kesselring Prize for playwriting -- given by the National Arts Club in New York since 1980 -- returns this year following a six-year hiatus with the announcement that Lucas Hnath is the recipient of the 2015 Kesselring Prize.”      READ MORE

PRESS

The Playworks Group is a production company that has produced, co-produced, and/or toured full length plays, festivals of new work, and numerous arts and education-related events, with a special focus on stories and events that broaden perspective on the world around us.

 

The Pine Hill Project endeavors to promote, provoke, and produce through storytelling the exploration of issues which shape our shared human experience.

©2017 All Rights Reserved.

The Playworks Group

Photography: Donna Bise

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CAST

 

Chandler McIntyre
Elizabeth, Paul's Wife

 

Chandler McIntyre is honored to be a part of this production and to be given the gift of working with this stellar theatrical team. She trained in New York, NY at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and was a finalist at the Actors' Studio. Some favorite theatrical credits include: Least Likely Friends, On the Verge, Dixie Swim Club, Carrie Ann's Kiss, Wit, Lifegame, The Laramie Project, Taming of the Shrew, 1963, Don't Dress for Dinner, Blithe Spirit, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Sweet Bird of Youth. Favorite Film/TV credits: Mary + Martha (HBO), Aphasia, The Ultimate Life, The Riches, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Surface, America's Most Wanted, The Color of Love, Wildflower. Her favorite roles are as wife to her husband Taylor and mother to her three children.

 

 

Jonavan Adams   Associate Pastor Joshua

 

Jonavan Adams obtained a BA in Theatre Performance from Appalachian State University. He has been fortunate enough to work with most of the theatre companies in Charlotte in approximately 30 professional productions, most recently seen as Levee Green in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom produced by CPCC. Other recent credits include being seen as Hero/Ulysses in Father Comes Home From The Wars produced by Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, as Herald Loomis in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone produced by CPCC and as Whitney Deeley in River City produced by Actor's Theatre of Charlotte. He is very thankful to be a part of telling such an incredibly relevant and thought-provoking story that centers around challenges that many have faced within the Christian faith/religion. Much appreciation and love to God, family (especially Lou and Khloe), friends/fraternity, and to YOU the patron - for the unwavering support.

 

 

Brian Robinson*  Pastor Paul

 

Brian Robinson joyfully returns to the Booth Playhouse stage, having previously appeared there with Charlotte Repertory Theatre in productions including Falsettos, A Few Good Men, Lend Me A Tenor, Picasso At The Lapin Agile, Barefoot In The Park, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, and the production which christened the theatre in 1992 of A Man For All Seasons. He began his career as an actor in Charlotte some 30 years ago. In addition to the Rep, he worked locally with Charlotte Shakespeare Company, Actors Theatre, Central Piedmont Summer Theatre, and Children’s Theatre and across N.C. with companies including Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Playmakers Repertory Company, North Carolina Stage Company, and Opera Carolina. A native of Tennessee, he holds degrees from the University of Virginia (BA, History) and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (MFA, Acting). *Member, Actors' Equity Association

 

 

April C. Turner
 Jenny, a Congregant

 

April C. Turner has had principal roles in more than 20 movies and television shows, as well as dozens of commercials and corporate videos. Among her favorite credits are Eyeborgs (SyFy Channel), Good Behavior (TNT), Unanswered Prayers (Lifetime), Trinity Goodheart (gmcTV), Army Wives (Lifetime), Ditch Digger’s Daughters (Family Channel) and ER (NBC). With her company, Life As Art Productions she has authored and toured her plays, Chocolate on the Outside and African Spirituals: Freedom Prayers. In addition to being a prolific playwright and actress, Ms. Turner is a passionate dancer. For more than two decades, her African dance performances and workshops have inspired, entertained and promoted cultural awareness in schools, theatres, universities, churches and cultural centers from North Carolina to Wisconsin. Her community building residencies, workshops and theatrical innovations have made her a favorite among academic institutions and cultural organizations nationwide.

 

 

Graham Smith*
Jay, a Church Elder

 

Graham Smith grew up jumping out of empty boxes in his father’s family-vaudeville magic show. He has appeared in well over 200 plays and 11 films. He worked for Charlotte Repertory from 1981-2002, spent 15 seasons with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and is presently a company member with People’s Light and Theatre in Philadelphia (since 1998) and Florida Repertory Theatre. He also has worked regularly at other theatres, including Riverside Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, North Carolina Stage Company, Festival Stage, Cape Fear Regional Theatre and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Favorite roles include King Lear, Toby Belch, Malvolio, Jacques, Stephano, Harpagon, Thomas More, Roy Cohn, Louis de Rougement in Shipwrecked, CP Ellis in Best of Enemies, Firs in The Cherry Orchard (with David Strathairn and Mary McDonnell), Cornelius and Vandergelder in The Matchmaker, Owen in The Foreigner, and David in Proof. This is his thirty-sumpthinth play with Steve Umberger going even further back than The Elephant Man in 1982. He is married to Audrey Brown, stage-manager non-pareil. *Member, Actors' Equity Association

 

CREATIVE

 

Lucas Hnath
Playwright

 

Lucas Hnath’s plays include A Doll's House: Part 2 (Broadway, 2017 Tony Award nomination for Best Play), The Christians (2014 Humana Festival), Red Speedo (Studio Theatre, DC), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep), NightNight (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac's Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre), and The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith (Actors Theatre of Louisville). His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. Lucas has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011, and is a proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Lucas is a winner of the 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaac's Eye and received a 2013 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation for Death Tax. He has also received commissions from the EST/Sloan Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, and the Royal Court Theatre. Lucas holds a BFA and an MFA from New York University's Department of Dramatic Writing.

 

Steve Umberger*
Director

 

Steve Umberger has directed, produced, and developed plays, film/video projects and related events for many companies including People's Light (Philadelphia), Florida Studio Theatre, Riverside Theatre (FL), Appalachian Summer Festival, Barter Theatre, N.C. Shakespeare Festival, and Flat Rock Playhouse. He has been involved in the opening and establishment of three arts centers and four theatres, including The Playworks Group (Director/Principal), Festival Stage (Creative Director), Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Artistic Director) and Charlotte Repertory Theatre (Founder/Artistic Director), the largest resident professional theatre company for adults in its metro area. His work includes staging and coordinating theatre/symphony collaborations, interdisciplinary partnerships, director/playwright commissions, and the long-term development and premieres of many new works. Favorite directing credits include Wit, Proof, Falsettos, Cabaret, 33 Variations, Six Degrees of Separation, The Road to Mecca, A Delicate Balance, The Tempest, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and all seven productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The last four Dreams have been collaborations with Cirque du Soleil’s Karl Baumann on an interpretation that continues to be developed. Film credits include shorts based on the plays Decorations, Boca, and Husbandry (ASC Emerging Artist Grant). Umberger is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Actors' Equity Association, and studied in N.Y. at Circle in the Square and with Alan Langdon and Larry Moss. *Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

 

 

Dareion Malone
Music Director

 

Dareion Malone is a native of Byhalia, MS and has been singing and playing piano since early childhood. Dareion received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also holds his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Dareion has performed nationally and internationally, including West Africa, South Africa, and Europe. Dareion’s baritone voice has been featured in numerous ensembles as well as principal opera and oratorio roles. He has appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Symphony and Chorus as well as other regional ensembles. His works have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and Faure’s Requiem. Much of Dareion's time is given to creating ways to provide access to quality music education for all students, especially those situated in areas that have been marginalized. Dareion is the choral music and piano instructor at Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, NC. In addition to his post at Marvin Ridge, he is the accompanist for Southend Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Dareion is also the founder and co-artistic director of Sine Nomine, an ensemble that engages audiences through innovative musical experiences to promote the education and appreciation of vocal music.