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Playwright Lucas Hnath Calls THE CHRISTIANS His Big Little Play About Faith In America

"When I was younger, I was supposed to be a preacher, but I decided it would be too much responsibility. I didn't want to worry about other peoples' souls. I switched to pre-med. I didn't want to worry about other peoples' bodies. And so, I switched to playwriting."

Lucas Hnath, whose THE CHRISTIANS is now previewing at Playwrights Horizons, writes on how his religious upbringing and his experiences teaching expository writing at NYU led him to the issues he explores in his new play.

"I was struck by how often the students would project themselves into the meaning of the essays we were studying. The students were so eager to find ways to make the texts 'relatable,' and in doing so, they would bend the words of the author to say something the author wasn't actually saying."

In THE CHRISTIANS, Hnath writes of a mega-church pastor who shocks his congregation with an interpretation of The Bible that he finds relatable.

Click here for Hnath's entire essay.

Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group will present The Christians, the New York premiere of a new play by Lucas Hnath (A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, Isaac's Eye, Death Tax). Directed by Obie Award winner Les Waters (Doris to Darlene at PH; the recent 10 Out of 12; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; Big Love; eurydice), the play is the opening production of the theater company's 2015/2016 Season.

The cast of The Christians will feature Emily Donahoe (33 Variations on Broadway; Queens Boulevard-the musical, Apparition Off-Broadway; The Christians at Humana; "Homeland"), Andrew Garman (Salome on Broadway; Ashville, Burning, Uncle Vanya, Hamlet Off-Broadway; The Christiansat Humana), Philip Kerr (The End of the Day at PH; A Time to Kill, Macbeth, Tiny Alice on Broadway; As You Like It Off-Broadway; opposite Dame Judith Anderson's Hamlet at Carnegie Hall), Larry Powell (While I Yet Live, Broke-ology Off-Broadway; The Christians at Humana) andLinda Powell (On Golden Pond, Wilder Wilder Wilder on Broadway; Omnium Gatherum, Jar the Floor, Jitney Off-Broadway; The Christians at Humana; "The Good Wife").

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From This Author Michael Dale