The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens & Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
By Scott Carter
Directed by James Ijames
June 1 - July 9, 2017
A Founding Father, a Victorian literary celebrity, and a Russian aristocrat/anarchist clash in a provocative new comedy that sets three of the world's greatest thinkers against each other in a battle of wits and wills. Jefferson, Dickens, and Tolstoy find themselves locked in a room with no exit. Attempting an escape, they ransack the philosophies of their lives and work, searching for a truth that will set them free. Created by playwright and former stand-up comedian Scott Carter, this whip-smart comedy examines just what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it.
Cast & Production Team
Andrew Criss as Count Leo Tolstoy • Gregory Isaac as Thomas Jefferson • Brian McCann as Charles Dickens
Lance Kniskern, Scenic Designer • Millie Hiibel, Costume Designer • Shon Causer, Lighting Designer • Christopher Colucci, Sound Designer • Avista Custom Theatrical Services, Props Master • Rebecca Smith, Stage Manager • Elise D'Avella, Assistant Director • Meghan Jones, Production Manager
News & Reviews
"Lantern's production, directed with plenty of style by James Ijames, makes a theology debate – not the usual topic for a comedy – both entertaining and intriguing. You'll laugh and you'll ponder." –The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Scott Carter makes religious debate exciting... The often heady debate favorably compares to George Bernard Shaw, who likewise made intellectual discourse sincere and passionate. Gospel's fine cast bring these initially stiff figures to life and make them face themselves." –Broad Street Review
"Smart, funny, fascinating and entertaining. The Lantern is an old hand at presenting plays full of heady ideas... Carter's play will give you a lot to think about – and, in its best moments, a lot to laugh about." –DC Metro Theater Arts
"It would be hard to come up with better casting. They ride with the give and take, each with a distinct and unmistakable voice. Gregory Isaac...is vital and compelling as a rational, cynical Jefferson – who could have been quite tedious. Brian McCann doesn't shy away from becoming shameless showman Dickens. Flamboyant and ridiculous, he's a traditionalist with religious certitude. And Andrew Criss as Tolstoy is steady and grounded. Tolstoy keeps his own counsel much of the time until he emerges humble, but willing to brag. Ultimately he's the one to espouse a useful and true philosophy. The Lantern team digs deep, and with skill and imagination transforms an essentially all-talk playscript into an engaging, living piece of theater." –Phindie
"A boisterous ballet of braggadocio and big ideas." –The Ticket
"Pretty damn entertaining... An evening of smart comedy borne from a clash of strong personalities." –Talkin' Broadway
Header Photo: Paul L. Nolan, Sally Mercer, and Charles McMahon in Copenhagen (2018); Charlie DelMarcelle, Anthony Lawton, Jered McLenigan, and Brian Anthony Wilson in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (2019); Anthony Lawton and Paul L. Nolan in The Craftsman (2017); and Bi Jean Ngo and Peter DeLaurier in The Tempest (2018). Photos by Mark Garvin.
Lantern Theater Company respectfully acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape.