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The Christians

From 83 member  reviews
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. More…

Ten years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was a modest storefront. Now it houses thousands, with a coffee shop in the lobby and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation’s beliefs. Backed by a live choir, 'The Christians' is both epic and unexpectedly intimate, an unflinching look at faith in America — and its power to unite or divide.

Member Reviews (83)


Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing
Avg Score

Disappointing, Entertaining, Interesting, Poor writting, Middling acting

See it if you have time

Don't see it if you don't like plots that don't make sense.

Slow, Boring, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated

See it if You like plays that comment on religion and enjoy religious debates.

Don't see it if You don't like social commentary on religion.

Original, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if you want a thinker!

Don't see it if you are offended by religion.

Cliched, Ambitious

See it if my wife liked it. I thought it would offend many

Don't see it if if feel strongly about your religion and cannot tolerate other opinions

Compelling play of ideas

See it if /since dramatically shows how destabilizing the questioning of religion's premise can be; strong lead Andrew Garman

Don't see it if /since production takes time to lift off; once gets going, brilliantly explores intersection of conscience/belief/community cohesion/loyalty

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.

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.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you're interested in considering different points of view, you appreciate thoughtful pieces, you are fascinated by MegaChurches.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with questions about religion.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You're interested in thought-provoking drama. This show had terrific performances, and presented both sides of a religious question fairly.

Don't see it if You prefer your shows to be pure entertainment.

Thought-provoking, Original, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You want a conversation about what is right and wrong through the lens of religion, and how this impacts relationships.

Don't see it if You find innovative staging distracting or want a loud and fast show.

Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy theological conundrums, have your own questions about faith and what makes a person truly righteous.

Don't see it if You cannot have your questioned or held up to new light.

Thought provoking, Well written, Great production, Intelligent

See it if Like important issues raised and explored, without yielding hollow answers; appreciate fine writing and great acting.

Don't see it if Want your plays to get resolved tidily.

Clever, Intelligent, Original, Overrated

See it if you enjoy theater that makes you reconsider things you take for granted.

Don't see it if you dislike plays where the characters mostly discuss philosophical issues and there is very little interpersonal drama.

Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if you don't care about drama or plot inertia and want to see a thesis played out on stage

Don't see it if you want characters that aren't just a mouthpiece for the playwright and you prefer your theater to actually be theater.

Thought-provoking, Profound, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in a philosophical challenge.

Don't see it if you want something fluffy and light.

Original, Great writing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You are or ever were a religious believer of any sort and sympathize with the struggles of belief and doubt

Don't see it if You need lots of action, you dislike plays about doubt, or you are repulsed by religiousity

Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you like plays that deal with big ideas.

Don't see it if you are looking for strong plot and action.

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

Also The play explores the tension between being a moral leader & being the... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Original, Relevant

See it if you like a new play that is extremely relevant and entertaining. thought provoking too

Don't see it if you are a jesus loving zealot with no room for any other opinions or thoughts.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if Once it gets going (about 40 minutes in) dramatic tension soars with no let-up. The production, the ideas & the debate are all superb.

Don't see it if you don't want to feel you're in church and don't want to experience terrific acting and effective drama.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Like philosophical thought provoking

Don't see it if Dislike the above

Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent, Unusual

See it if You're interested in the exploration of alternative forms of theatrical storytelling. Most of this show is a sermon delivered by microphone.

Don't see it if You do not like plays about religion.

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you love new work that stretch the idea of theatre can do.

Don't see it if you are not interested in an unconventional narrative with hot topic issues.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you're in the mood for a thought-provoking examination of faith in America. Wonderfully acted!

Don't see it if the religious service format makes you uncomfortable.

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.

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...'...
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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...
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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 pa...
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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 styliz...
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