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‘Jesus Hopped the A Train’ at Actor’s Express June 8-30

2023 May 18
by Susan Asher

Actor’s Express continues its 35th anniversary season with Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train  by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. At Rikers Island, a frightened young inmate confronts complex issues of faith when he crosses paths with a charismatic serial killer, a sadistic guard, and a jaded public defender. This potent play will hit you where you live and make you question what happens when God’s justice differs from man’s. “Guirgis’ benchmark prison drama about faith and humanity remains as potent as ever in the two decades since its premiere, surely earning its place among great American classic plays” comments Artistic Director Freddie Ashley on why he chose to present this play.


Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is a powerful drama that explores the crisis of faith, identity and the search for redemption. This play challenges audiences to reflect on forgiveness, resilience and the American Justice system.


Jesus Hopped The A Train premiered in 2000 at the LABrynth Theatre Company in a production directed  by Philip Seymour Hoffman, followed by a London production at the Donmar Warehouse in 2002 that was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play of 2003. The Evening Standard  raved, “This pumping, pounding, pulsing play blazes.” The New York Times called Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train “Fire-Breathing…a probing, intense portrait of life behind bars.”

This ensemble cast features five Atlanta actors, including AE vets Luis R.Hernandez (The Crucible, The Motherfucker with the Hat and Six Degrees of Separation) and Cara Mantella (Angels in America, Significant Other and Mauritius). Making their Actor’s Express debuts are Sekou Laidlow (Alliance Theatre’s Toni Stone), Jacob York (Shakespeare Tavern’s Twelfth Night)and Cristian Gonzalez (True Colors’ Between Riverside and Crazy). Acting Apprentice Andrew Randolph rounds out the cast. The production is directed by Eric J. Little (AE’s Neat and The Brothers Size).


According to Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, “Stephen Adly Guirgis is a giant among American playwrights. He weaves vivid language with muscular storytelling, creating plays that pack a huge emotional wallop. Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is one of his very best and has become a modern American classic while still feeling very much of the present moment.”



ABOUT Stephen Adly Guirgis


Stephen Adly Guirgis is an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. His play Between Riverside and Crazy won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He is a member and a former co-artistic

director of New York City‘s LAByrinth Theater Company. Guirgis has produced plays both on an Off- Broadway as well as in the UK.


Guirgis’ play The Motherfucker With the Hat was nominated for seven TONY Awards and premiered on Broadway in 2011. Produced at AE in 2012, this production featured Luis R. Hernandez who will be playing Valdez in Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.


Previews: Thursday-Friday, June 8-9, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Opening Night: June 10th, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Regular Performances: June 8- July 2nd, 2023

Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8:00 PM (Sunday, June 11th, additional evening performance at 7:30 PM)

Sundays at 2 PM


Purchase tickets online at or by calling 404-607-7469.

Group pricing is available. For info, email ti*****@ac***********.com.


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