The Crazy Locomotive

by  Stanislaw Witkiewicz, Daniel Gerould, C. S. Durer

Short Play, Drama  /  9m, 4f

Startling discontinuities and surprises erupt throughout these avant-garde landscapes by Poland's outstanding modern dramatist where duchesses and policemen, gangsters and surrealist painters, psychiatrists and locomotive engineers wander in and out, kill one another, and carry on philosophical conversations at the same time.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    9m, 4f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Experimental, Science Fiction
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Obie
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Startling discontinuities and surprises erupt throughout these avant-garde landscapes by Poland's outstanding modern dramatist where duchesses and policemen, gangsters and surrealist painters, psychiatrists and locomotive engineers wander in and out, kill one another, and carry on philosophical conversations at the same time.

When a small band of outcasts and super villains hijack a locomotive engine, they determine to race it full-throttle into an oncoming train in order to experience the very Mystery of Existence, but will their high-speed adventure send them headlong into another dimension, or are they only heading for disaster?  In a world full of disguises where nothing is what it seems and people change identities at the drop of a hat – who and what will survive the ultimate judgment?     

Combining the drama and thrill of pulp fiction and early cinema with the sensuality and suspense of the tango, The Crazy Locomotive will have audiences on the edge of their seats. 
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Accolades

  • 1977 Obie Award

Reviews

"It's a buffoonish, perverse, assaultive, and exhilarating ride, just the kind Witkiewicz must have envisioned." - The Chicago Reader

"Locomotive might be a bit impenetrable for first-time theatergoers. But if you’re willing to throw expectations to the wind...you’re bound to have a good time." - Time Out Boston

"The Crazy Locomotive is a parody taken to extremes that expresses Polish avant-garde playwright Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s distaste for mechanization and modern art by exploiting them in his mockery of them. His characters want to be liberated from a mundane reality and they actively pursue this goal, living by the motto of 'action not contemplation.' Likewise, Witkiewicz pursues his agenda in no uncertain terms, attacking his subject matter directly with some truly brilliant one-liners." - nytheatre.com 

Keywords

Death

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Setting: The engine room of a train hurtling toward its destruction. 

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

9m, 4f
VALERY BEAN
SOPHIA TENSER/JEANNE CACKLESON
3RD THUG
CONDUCTOR
MINNA
JOHN CACKLESON/1ST THUG
DR. RIFTMAKER/2ND THUG
TURBULENCE GUSTER
2ND GENDARME/DOCTOR'S ASSISTANT
NICHOLAS SLOBOK
1ST GENDARME
MIRA BEAN
JULIA TOMASIK
SIEGFRIED TENSER
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting

Resources

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Authors

Stanislaw Witkiewicz

Stanislaw Witkiewicz

Daniel Gerould

Daniel Gerould

C. S.  Durer

C. S. Durer

This translation of The Crazy Locomotive premiered at Chelsea Theatre Center in 1977 starring Glenn Close and Peter Bartlett. 

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