The Christians
Closed 1h 30m
The Christians

The Christians NYC Reviews and Tickets

(83 Ratings)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

About the Show

The first show in Playwrights Horizon's 15-16 season, 'The Christians' by Lucas Hnath is an idea-packed drama about a pastor of a megachurch whose changing beliefs send his congregation spiraling.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (83)

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98 Reviews | 23 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing

See it if you love straight plays grapple in a deep way with religious faith and doubt, enjoy strong performances, and strong writing.

Don't see it if you hate straight plays, are not interested in plays dealing with religion and with Christianity in particular, do not enjoy talky plays. Read more

127 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Great staging, Profound

See it if you want to have your mind opened to new ideas.

Don't see it if you are closed minded.

100 Reviews | 64 Followers
Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you love to see 'faith' be dealt onstage in the way we, real humans, deal with it

Don't see it if you don't feel like thinking

536 Reviews | 157 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You like challenging dramatic topics and theatre that draws you in and forces you to think !

Don't see it if You can't handle controversy involving religious beliefs.

539 Reviews | 280 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in a play of ideas with consistently great acting, writing, and directing.

Don't see it if You are afraid of theatre that will make you think and come up with your own answers to questions asked by the playwright.

266 Reviews | 62 Followers
Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Must see, Relevant

See it if You enjoy moral quandaries, are up for exploring questions of adherence to questionable aspects of faith traditions & faith institutions

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this play unless you would be offended by a debate about the nature of God & faith institutions Read more

95 Reviews | 28 Followers
Delightful, Ambitious, Great writing, Profound, Refreshing

See it if you want a courageous, warm-blooded, and wise deep-dive into the nature of compassion and connection, and why we sometimes fail at them

Don't see it if you're looking for something cynical or parodic-- it's a wonderfully earnest show

137 Reviews | 122 Followers
Masterful, Original, Refreshing, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate the ability of a playwright to make you re-think issues you thought you were very certain on before you walked in.

Don't see it if You need super fast-moving dialogue and action or big sets; this one is a slow study and requires your focus.

Critic Reviews (40)

The New York Times
September 17th, 2015

"'The Christians,' is the first important new play of the young fall season...It has been ingeniously staged by the director, Les Waters...Mr. Hnath is one of the freshest playwriting voices to emerge in the past five years or so. He’s also an adventurous thinker in terms of style and content...'The Christians' is Mr. Hnath’s most penetrating work, but what you take away is the play’s ruminative gravity, and how each character is given an authentic voice and a complexity of feeling."
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Time Out New York
September 17th, 2015

"Although superbly staged by Les Waters and the use of microphones serves to both amplify and distance the coiled language, Hnath seems to lose nerve as he goes...There are so few plays that take on big moral questions, and Hnath is a serious writer, so I can still recommend 'The Christians,' but I cannot promise ecstasies of Heaven."
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New York Theatre Guide
September 18th, 2015

"This is a massively well-intentioned play that pits people, each of whom believes that they are acting according to the voice of their God, against one another...Hnath offers only questions that hit home and leaves the answers to us. This is not a new concept – think Greek tragedies here. It is, however, an updated examination focused on a specific corner of our society that rarely gets a balanced treatment."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 17th, 2015

"In his extraordinary new play 'The Christians' at Playwrights Horizons, Lucas Hnath grapples with dogma itself...In the strange, superb direction by Les Waters, the distancing elements are amped up. The result is a kind of 'public service': an exurban passion play. The surprise is the passion part; through some trick of perspective, and excellent acting, the abstractions enhance rather than cancel the emotion."
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New York Daily News
September 17th, 2015

"In 'The Christians', a pastor of a massive megachurch shares an epiphany with his congregation of thousands: Everybody is saved; heroes and Hitler go to heaven...Those are the basics of Lucas Hnath’s intriguing if not exactly illuminating look at irreconcilable differences within faith and family...Hnath doesn’t attempt resolutions. But you can bank on this Playwrights Horizons production to make you think. As a conversation-starter, it’s a little bit of heaven."
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September 17th, 2015

"The problem with the play is that the cleric who sets off the hullabaloo that tears the congregation apart is just as bland as the scenery. To heighten this emotional distance (and spiritual alienation) between the preacher and his flock, all the characters whisper-speak into handheld microphones — even in intimate scenes...But if Pastor Paul is personally insipid (and suitably played so by Andrew Garman), his spiritual crisis is dynamite."
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The Hollywood Reporter
September 17th, 2015

"It's so rare to see religious beliefs depicted onstage without condescension that Lucas Hnath's new play becomes all the more intriguing...'The Christians' is an ambitious, effort that deserves attention. But even though attention must be paid, the work proves disappointing in its overly stylized presentation and lack of dramatic impact."
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New York Post
September 17th, 2015

"'The Christians' is a white-knuckled drama about . . . a theological battle. But there are no clear winners or losers in Lucas Hnath’s deeply affecting new play...As heated and heady as the disputes become, Hnath and director Les Waters keep the show absorbing on a very human level. This is a production we can believe in."
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