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Johnston's Play Busted Jesus Comix Opens July 16

Blue Coyote Theater Group and Access Theater will present David Johnston's play Busted Jesus Comix at the Access Theatre (380 Broadway, just north of White Street) for a limited engagement from Wednesday, July 13th through Sunday, August 7th; opening night is set for Saturday, July 16th at 8 PM.

The play, which is based on loosely on a famous real-life Florida court case, tackles obscenity issues Directed by Gary Shrader, Busted Jesus Comix, recounts how, "When 19 year-old Marco created a comic book, the community leaders of Tallahassee, Florida took him to court for obscenity. They won. Now Marco is a convicted felon, and is banned by law from drawing for three years...Busted Jesus Comix is irreverently funny, whip-smart and incredibly relevant, serving as a cautionary tale for the 'culture wars' playing out on our national political stage." The cast features Bruce Barton, Michael Bell, Paul Caiola, R. Jane Casserly, Brian Fuqua, Vince Gatton, Tracey Gilbert, John Koprowski, David Lapkin and Joseph C. Yeargain.

Johnston, a playwright and actor based in New York City, has had his works performed and read in New York City at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Henry Street Settlement, the Sage Theatre, Pace University, the Basic Theatre at Soho Rep, the Pantheon, Silver Moon and Ensemble Studio Theatre's Oktoberfest. New York productions include: Busted Jesus Comix Plus Three More Plays! and A Bush Carol, or George Dubya and the Xmas of Evil, (music and lyrics by Stephen Speights, both with Blue Coyote Theater Group), and The Eumenides (American Theatre of Actors). His published plays include: Leaving Tangier, (Samuel French); New York Telephone Conversation and The Revolution Will Commence at Chase Manhattan (Rosebud); Death is Cold Like Barbie and I Dream of Ezra Pound (Stage Press Weekly). Awards include the B.W. Morris Playwright Residency at the University of Cincinnati, Berrilla Kerr Foundation, Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation (all for "Candy & Dorothy"), Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation (for an adaptation of The Oresteia, a work-in-progress), Alan Minieri Memorial Award, 3 Turnip Festival One-Act Play Competitions, including Audience Favorite and Best Production, One-Minute Play Contests. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity, Blue Coyote Theater Group and Charles Maryan's Playwrights/Directors Workshop.

Shrader is a founding member of Blue Coyote Theater Group. He has received training at the Drama Studio, London, at Berkeley; the Steppenwolf Theater; and Notre Dame University, among others. As an actor, he has performed at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater under the direction of John Malkovich, and at San Francisco's Eureka Theater in a production directed by Oskar Eustis. He has appeared in numerous Off-Off Broadway productions, including the cult-hit serial play, Blair Fell's Burning Habits.
For Blue Coyote Theater Group, he has appeared in Nebraska, Psychopathia Sexualis, Kingfish, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, Leaving Tangier, and A Bush Carol, and has directed Roots in Water, Busted Jesus Comix, Leaving Tangier, A Bush Carol, and The Americans. Also for Blue Coyote, and in collaboration with Eileen O¹Connor, he conceived and directed Eileen O'Connor Is Contagious!, which was selected for the 2001 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

The performance schedule is Thursday -Sunday at 8:00 PM, with added performances on Wednesday, July 13 and Wednesday, August 3 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or online at

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