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Past Production

The Train Play

By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Rob Melrose
Oct 4–Nov 9

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Late at night on a train hurtling towards infinity, eight strangers meet. A twelve-year-old with the powers of a comic book heroine manipulates time and the lives of a jaded Earth Goddess, an unraveling physicist, an Irishman fleeing predatory angels, a reluctant travel writer and three brothers from Ulyanovsk. While they ride, the destruction of the universe looms. A comi-threnody.

Featuring: Richard Bolster, Elizabeth Bullard, Lasse Christiansen, James S. Craft, Michael Ferris Gibson, Paul Gerrior, David Koppel*,  Linda Jones+, Robert Martinez+, Gwyneth Richards

Scenic Design: Michael Locher+

Light Design: David Sinaiko

Costume Design: Jocelyn Leiser+

Sound Design: Paul Lancour+

Composer: Darin Wilson

Production Manager: Pegeen McGhan+

Stage Manager: Natasha Pesic

Assistant Stage Manager: Tifa Boss


“Whatever the reasons, these relatively modest productions were responsible for some of the more striking theatrical moments this year. I’ve more or less forgotten Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème, but Crowded Fire’s production of Liz Duffy Adams’s Train Play (subtitled The Reckless Ruthless Brutal Charge of It) left me with a resonant final image: American Manifest Destiny as the irrepressible enthusiasm of a prepubescent girl whose comic book alter ego gleefully leads a charge of startled immigrants (and two natives, an effete writer and a guilt-ridden scientist) from their train’s final berth out into the post-apocalyptic unknown.”—Robert Avila, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“This train of fools—highly reminiscent of Twilight Zone meets Sam Shepard—is full of recognizably drifting dreamers, trying as fast as a bullet train can go to outrace their creative confusion, festering memories, delusions of grandeur, and dogged compulsions. They’re a lot like the audience they face.”—Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema, Chicago.