Lucas Hnath

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Lucas Hnath


Hnath grew up in Orlando, Florida. He moved to New York City in 1997 to study pre-med,[1] and then changed to dramatic writing at the Tisch School of the Arts, at New York University, earning a BFA in 2001, and an MFA in 2002.[2] He teaches at New York University.

He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.[3]

Red Speedo was presented Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop from February 17, 2016 to March 27, 2016. The play won the Obie Award, Playwriting and Performance for Lucas Caleb Rooney. The play involves Ray, a competitive swimmer at the start of the trials for the Olympic team.[4] Jesse Green, in his review for Vulture, wrote: “Hnath is never interested solely in the material repercussions of character… In Red Speedo, the underlying subject seems to be the cost of morality, which is generally too high for people like Ray… Hnath lightly suggests — he’s too subtle to use the big hammer — that the immoral imbalance of our current economy is stripping us down to our animal skins. All we’re good for is competition.”[5] The play premiered at the Studio Theatre, Washington, DC, in 2013. The director of the production, Lila Neugebauer, explained: “…doping is just the arena for a conversation about what constitutes fairness, and the myth of equal opportunity.”[6]

He has written A Doll’s House, Part 2, which premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on April 1, 2017 in previews. Directed by Sam Gold, the cast features Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashād. The play was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California, where it is running at the same time, directed by Shelley Butler, beginning April 9, 2017.[7] This marks Hnath’s Broadway debut.[8] Hnath’s play “picks up after Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” concludes.”[9]

The Christians

His play The Christians concerns influence and faith in a megachurch,[10] with much of the cast being a church “spirit-raising” choir.”[11]. The plot concerns a pastor who discards traditional fundamentalist Christianity in favor of a more inclusive and universalist Christianity, which affirms the goodness in other religions, and the impact this has on his congregation.

It was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays (Louisville, Kentucky) in 2014[12][13] and premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons on August 28, 2015 (previews), closing on October 25, 2015. Directed by Les Waters, the cast featured Andrew Garman as “Pastor Paul”. The play made its Chicago premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company on December 1, 2016, directed by K. Todd Freeman.[14] The Chicago Sun-Times reviewer called it a “thought-provoking play”.[11]. Subsequently, it premiered in the San Francisco Bay Area at San Francisco Playhouse on January 24, 2017, directed by Bill English.[15][16][17]

The play was nominated for two 2016 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play, Andrew Garman.[18] The play was nominated for the 2016 Lortel Awards for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play (Garman).[19] The play won the 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play.[20]


  • Death Tax,[21] 2012, Humana Festival of New American Plays; Royal Court Theatre
  • A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney,[22] 2013, Soho Rep
  • Isaac’s Eye,[23] New York City, Ensemble Studio Theatre
  • Red Speedo, Overlook Press, ISBN 9781468310849; 2013, Studio Theater, Washington, DC;[6] 2016, New York Theatre Workshop[24]
  • The Christians, Overlook Press, 2015, ISBN 9781468310832, Actors Theatre of Louisville; Playwright’s Horizons [13][10][25][26][27]
  • Hillary and Clinton,[28] 2016, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago
  • A Doll’s House, Part 2, 2017, John Golden Theatre, Broadway

Awards and Honours

  • 2015 Whiting Award[29]
  • 2016 Kesselring Prize for The Christians[30]
  • 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship[31]
  • 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaacs Eye[32]
  • Two Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citations (2013 for Death Tax)[32]


  1. Tran, Diep (March 2014). “Lucas Hnath: Frustration Is the Point”. American Theatre. Theatre Communications Group. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  2. “Alumni: 2016 Obie Award Winners Announced” (May 27, 2016). Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  3. “Lucas Hnath”. New Dramatists. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  4. Red Speedo Off-Broadway”, accessed October 8, 2016
  5. Green, Jesse. “Theater Reviews: Danai Gurira’s ‘Familia’r and Lucas Hnath’s ‘Red Speedo'” Vulture, March 3, 2016
  6. a b Pressley, Nelson. “Studio Theatre’s ‘Red Speedo’ tests the waters on a current issue: doping” Washington Post, September 27, 2013
  7. A Doll’s House Part 2, retrieved April 7, 2017
  8. McPhee, Ryan. “Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper & More Will Bring Lucas Hnath’s ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ to Broadway”, October 7, 2016
  9. Gans, Andrew. “Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper Will Star in Broadway’s ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2′” Playbill, October 7, 2016
  10. a b “Lucas Hnath’s American Strangeness”. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-09-19. For all its control on the page, “The Christians” is about the uncontrollable, which is to say, how we imagine what life will look like once we enter the everlasting.
  11. a b Weiss, Hedy. “At Steppenwolf, ‘Christians’ reveals a church in upheaval” Chicago Sun-Times, January 3, 2017
  12. The Christians, accessed May 1, 2016
  13. a b Paulson, Michael (2015-09-03). “Lucas Hnath’ s “The Christians” Tackles a Schism Among the Flock”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  14. Clement, Olivia. “Steppenwolf Casts ‘The Christians’ and ‘Straight White Men'”
  15. Janiak, Lily. “SF Playhouse takes ‘The Christians’ seriously” San Francisco Chronicle, January 23, 2017
  16. Janiak, Lily. “SF Playhouse takes ‘The Christians’ seriously”, January 23, 2017
  17. Hurwitt, Sam. “Review: ‘The Christians’ in San Francisco grapples with issues of faith, loyalty The Mercury News, 2017
  18. The Christians, accessed May 1, 2016
  19. 2016 Lucille Lortel Awards Presented Tonight” Playbill, May 1, 2016
  20. Viagas, Robert. “Bright Star and The Humans Win Top 2016 NY Outer Critics Circle Awards” playbill, May 9, 2016
  21. Death Tax. Dramatist’s Play Service. 2013. ISBN 978-0-8222-2755-7.
  22. A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney. Dramatist’s Play Service. 25 August 2014. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-8222-2993-3.
  23. Isaac’s Eye. Dramatist’s Play Service. 17 March 2014. ISBN 978-0-8222-2922-3.
  24. Clement, Olivia. “Lucas Hnath’s ‘Red Speedo’ Opens Tonight” Playbill, March 6, 2016
  25. “Believers Vs. Believers in Lucas Hnath’s ‘The Christians'”. AMERICAN THEATRE. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  26. Keane, Erin (March 8, 2014). “Theological Bombshells Land in Lucas Hnath’s Humana Festival Play ‘The Christians'”. 89.3 WFPL. Retrieved 2015-09-19. On the way out of the Pamela Brown on Friday night, I overheard patrons debating the theological points the play raises with an interest and urgency that affirmed both Hnath’s approach to telling this particular story and the power, in general, of storytelling on stage.
  27. Soloski, Alexis. “The Christians review – a mature and elusive play about faith”. the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-19. Whether or not you believe in God, you should believe in Lucas Hnath.
  28. “HILLARY AND CLINTON – Victory Gardens Theater”. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  29. Clement, Olivia. “Playwrights Anne Washburn and Lucas Hnath Honored with Whiting Award Grants” Playbill, March 9, 2015
  30. Clement, Olivia. “Lucas Hnath Play Named Winner of Kesselring Prize” Playbill, September 28, 2015
  31. “Lucas Hnath”, retrieved January 18, 2017
  32. a b “Lucas Hnath”, accessed May 1, 2016
  33. All references detail at Wiki

External links