The Train Driver
By Athol Fugard
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer
April 10 - May 4, 2014
Gripped by the memory of an accident he could not prevent, a restless train driver wanders an African township, trying to lose himself in anguish and guilt. What he finds instead is an unexpected stranger who has the power to offer forgiveness that would free him from his torment. Producer of three Athol Fugard classics (The Island in 2012, Sizwe Bansi Is Dead in 2009, and "Master Harold"...and the boys in 2006), Lantern Theater Company is proud to present the Philadelphia premiere of this new play from the 2011 Tony Award-winner for Lifetime Achievement. Based on a shocking true story, this potent, riveting drama reveals a playwright at the height of his power to move and inspire, exploring the possibilities for redemption and brotherhood in the new South Africa.
"This is for me the whole; it's my truth and reconciliation. I think all of my writing life led up to the writing of The Train Driver because it deals with my own inherited blindness and guilt and all of what being a white South African in South Africa during those apartheid years meant." –Athol Fugard
Videos by Theresa Thao Nguyen
Photos by Mark Garvin
Cast & Production Team
Peter DeLaurier as Roelf Visagie Kirk Wendell Brown as Simon Hanabe
Meghan Jones, Production Manager Lance Kniskern, Scenic Designer Katherine Fritz, Costume Designer Drew Billiau, Lighting Designer Christopher Colucci, Sound Designer Marla Burkholder, Dialect Coach Rebecca Smith, Stage Manager Sarah Mitteldorf, Assistant Director
Casting update: Frank X is recovering from an injury and has unfortunately had to leave the production. We send Frank our love and warmest wishes for a speedy recovery! Please join us in thanking Kirk Wendell Brown for joining our cast and ensuring that we may proceed with this wonderful play. Welcome, Kirk!
News & Reviews
"This Philadelphia premiere of The Train Driver marks another successful return to Fugardís work for the Lantern. The allegorical play captures the fullness of South African society beyond the scrubby graveyard, and the performances and production fulfill the promise of this affecting parable." –Phindie more
"Peter DeLaurier, a single large curl dangling over his forehead, is remarkable. The gravedigger [is] beautifully rendered by Kirk Wendell Brown." –WHYY NewsWorks more
"A superlative production. [Peter] DeLaurier, a veteran People's Light & Theatre Company resident actor and one of area theater's underappreciated treasures, gives a brilliantly raw performance that alone makes The Train Driver compelling and worthwhile. His emotional honesty, as he physically collapses while also mentally imploding, is truly harrowing and heartbreaking – and he does it all with a thick, yet always understandable, Afrikaans accent. Fugard doesn't break new ground with The Train Driver, but his important themes certainly merit this intense 90-minute airing, especially through such a lovingly detailed and sincerely acted production." –Philadelphia City Paper
Header Photo: Geneviêve Perrier and Charlie DelMarcelle in A Child's Christmas in Wales (2014); Kittson O'Neill, Maxwell Eddy, and Alex Boyle in Arcadia (2014); Damon Bonetti, Daniel Fredrick, and Dave Johnson in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2015); and Kirk Wendell Brown and Peter DeLaurier in The Train Driver (2014). Photos by Mark Garvin.