NYC Premiere of Athol Fugard's The Train Driver, Directed by the Author, Opens at Signature
By Kenneth Jones
The New York City premiere of The Train Driver, written and directed by Athol Fugard and featuring Leon Addison Brown as Simon and Ritchie Coster as Roelf, opens Sept. 9 at Signature Theatre Company's Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre for a run to Sept. 23. Previews began Aug. 14.
The play — about a train driver, Roelf, searching for the identities of a mother and child he unintentionally killed with his train — is the final production in Signature's Residency One: Athol Fugard Series. Blood Knot and My Children! My Africa! preceded it.
According to Signature, "After a fruitless journey through shanty towns, [Roelf] encounters an old gravedigger named Simon who helps the desperate man unburden his conscience. Based on a true story, The Train Driver is a soulful exploration of guilt, suffering and the powerful bonds that grow between strangers."
Brown was seen in Off-Broadway's The Orphans' Home Cycle and Two Trains Running. Ritchie Coster appeared in TV's "Luck" and New Group's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
All tickets for the initial run of the production are $25 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access.
The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre is at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W. 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).
The design team for The Train Driver includes Christopher H. Barreca (scenic design), Susan Hilferty (costume design), Stephen Strawbridge (lighting design), Brett Jarvis (sound design), Doug Wieselman (original music) and Barbara Rubin (dialect coach). Linda Marvel is production stage manager.
Fugard's plays also include No-Good Friday, Nongogo, Hello and Goodbye, People are Living There, Boesman and Lena, Statements After an Arrest, Under the Immorality Act, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Dimetos, The Island, A Lesson From Aloes, "Master Harold"…and the Boys, The Road to Mecca, A Place With the Pigs, Playland, Valley Song, The Captain's Tiger, Sorrows and Rejoicings, Exits and Entrances, Victory, Coming Home and The Bird Watchers.
To purchase tickets, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212) 244-7529 or visit signaturetheatre.org.
Subscriptions are currently on sale for the 2012-13 season, which includes plays by David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin and David Shiner, Sam Shepard, Regina Taylor, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson.
South African writer Fugard is the Signature's current Residency One playwright. Residency One is the "one-year residency that explores a series of plays from the body of work of one writer, providing in-depth insight into an individual artist." Residency One represents the company's founding mission; new initiatives have since formed, populating three new theatre spaces at The Pershing Square Signature Center.
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