1st Stage

1524 SPRING HILL ROAD | TYSONS, VA 22102 | (703) 854-1856

Jesus Hopped the "A" Train

September 7- October 8, 2017

Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Directed by Alex Levy and Juan Francisco Villa

Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis darkly comic meditation on redemption and faith, Angel Cruz is a 30-year-old bicycle messenger awaiting trial for the death of the leader of a religious cult. Inside Rikers Island, a terrified Angel is befriended by a charismatic serial killer named Lucius Jenkins. Lucius has found God and been born again, and now, Angel’s life and the course of his trial will be changed forever.This Olivier Award Nominated play is “fire-breathing…[a] probing, intense portrait of lives behind bars.”- The New York Times

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Community Conversations

Connecting the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

Note: All Community Conversations are offered free of charge. To attend a performance of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train you must purchase a ticket or a subscription.


The pre-show discussion series illuminates facets of each 1st Stage production that shape your adventure with the play from the beginning. Learn from community leaders and 1st Stage artists and head into each show with a new framework for your experience.

PRISON FELLOWSHIP: A conversation with Kate Trammel, senior campaign manager of the Prison Fellowship and prior magistrate for the Supreme Court of Virginia.
September 8, 2017, 6:30pm
Kate Trammell serves Prison Fellowship as the senior state campaign manager, overseeing state policy campaigns on criminal justice and juvenile justice reform. She will discuss the Prison Fellowship’s work to advance restorative values in criminal justice reform. Arrive early, grab a drink, and join in to learn about how faith is used as a tool for recovery.

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FROM PIONEER TO PREMIERE: A Conversation with 1st Stage founding artists
September 14, 2017, 6:30pm
Step back in time with 1st Stage as we explore the journey of the past 10 years. This 1st installment in a 5 part conversation series will feature members of the founding artist team in a discussion about finding the 1st Stage space and pioneering a first-rate theater in the heart of arts-starved Tysons.

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MEET THE CASTING DIRECTOR: A discussion with Jane Kalbfeld.
September 28, 2017, 6:30pm
Where do we found our outstanding casts? What does the process of casting a play look like? And how was casting specifically approached for Jesus Hopped the “A” Train? Arrive early, grab a drink, and find out!

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The classic and beloved Community Conversations series connects the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

MEET THE DESIGN TEAM: The Genesis of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train‘s Stage
September 9, 2017
Following the 2pm performance-
Ever wondered what it takes to create an entire show? Meet the people who make the magic happen from behind the scenes, from lighting and sound to props and costumes.

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MEET THE DIRECTOR: Bringing Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train to life at 1st Stage
September 10, 2017
Following the 2pm performance-
Join in for a discussion with co-director and 1st Stage Artistic Director, Alex Levy about his approach to Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ phenomenal and poetic work. Learn with us!

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CRIMINAL DEFENDANT’S RIGHTS: A discussion with Michelle Engert, Scholar in Residence at American University’s Department of Justice, Law & Criminology
September 16, 2017
Following the 2pm performance-
Before joining the AU faculty, Engert worked in the national criminal justice policy arena as a senior counsel in the Office for Access to Justice at the USDOJ and as an attorney advisor at the Defender Services Office in the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. She will share her expertise about the Sixth Amendment, which allows for counsel for those who cannot afford retained private lawyers. Join us to learn more about criminal rights within the justice system.

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INCARCERATION AND COMMUNITY REINTEGRATION: A discussion with OAR (Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources) of Fairfax.
September 23, 2017
Following the 2pm performance-
Learn about O.A.R.’s mission to rebuild lives and break the “cycle of crime with opportunities, alternatives, and resources for offenders and their families to create a safer community.” Could the justice system represented in our play have followed a different path? Let’s discuss!

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LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR ALL: A discussion with Becky Wolozin, Legal Aid Justice Center Equal Justice Works Fellow
September 24, 2017
Following the 2pm performance-
Chat with Becky Wolozian who launched Legal Aid’s JustChildren program in Northern Virginia to provide legal services to immigrant students, English Language Learners, and their families.

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MEET THE CAST: A discussion with the talented cast of Jesus Hopped on the ‘A’ Train.
September 30, 3017
Following the 2pm performance-
Bringing the audience into what seems to be a world of prison, and yet, introducing them to themes beyond the prison landscape is a challenge. Chat with us and learn about how the cast approached their roles and engaged with the characters to breathe our story to life.

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Special Events

We are excited to announce a new partnership in the 2017-18 Season with Bowen McCauley Dance! BMD will be performing for 2 NIGHTS ONLY on October 27 and 28, 2017. Subscribe to 1st Stage’s 10th Season at the Premier Level to receive exclusive offers to see this inspiring performance by the Washington metro area’s premier contemporary dance company!

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Season 2017-2018