The Reckless Ruthless Brutal Charge of It or, The Train Play





Late at night on a train hurtling towards infinity, eight strangers meet. A twelve-year-old with the powers of a comic book heroine manipulates time and the lives of a jaded Earth Goddess, an unraveling physicist, an Irishman fleeing predatory angels, a reluctant travel writer and three brothers from Ulyanovsk. While they ride, the destruction of the universe looms. A comi-threnody.

Produced by Crowded Fire, San Francisco 2002,  Clubbed Thumb, NYC 2002, and Will Act For Food, Chicago 2012.

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Train is available in a French translation by Adelaide Pralon, as Sa Charge Féroce Fatale Brutale, Ou Le Train. It had a staged reading in Paris at the Théatre des Bouffe du Nord in May 2014, as part of the Des Voix Festival. Contact the playwright or her agent for more information.


In the Press


“Whatever the reasons, these relatively modest productions were responsible for some of the more striking theatrical moments this year. I’ve more or less forgotten Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème, but Crowded Fire’s production of Liz Duffy Adams’s Train Play (subtitled The Reckless Ruthless Brutal Charge of It) left me with a resonant final image: American Manifest Destiny as the irrepressible enthusiasm of a prepubescent girl whose comic book alter ego gleefully leads a charge of startled immigrants (and two natives, an effete writer and a guilt-ridden scientist) from their train’s final berth out into the post-apocalyptic unknown.”—Robert Avila, San Francisco Bay Guardian. Click here for full article

"This train of fools—highly reminiscent of Twilight Zone meets Sam Shepard—is full of recognizably drifting dreamers, trying as fast as a bullet train can go to outrace their creative confusion, festering memories, delusions of grandeur, and dogged compulsions. They’re a lot like the audience they face."—Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema, Chicago. Click here for full review.


 Crowded Fire Theater Company production, directed by Rob Melrose. Cast: Elizabeth Bullard, Richard Bolster, James S. Craft, Linda Jones, David Koppel, Robert Martinez, Gwyneth Richards. Set: Michael Locher. Lighting: David Sinaiko. Costumes: TK. Photos: TK