Original Off Broadway cast. Top row: Clifton Samuels, James Kiberd, Marianne Leask, Julie Campbell, Jacques Mitchell. Bottom row: Kathleen Huber, Alec Shaw, Ben Curtis.
From the writer of the critically acclaimed Death of the Persian Prince and A Normal Life comes the award-winning new play, The Crusade of Connor Stephens, where extreme loss shakes a Texas family as it comes to terms with a tragic act of violence. In the midst of widespread media attention, their story becomes an allegory for the national debate over religion, tolerance and the seedlings of hate. With humor and resilience, they will confront the ghosts of the past and discover the brutal universal truths that define the American family in the 21st century.
The Crusade of Connor Stephens made its world premiere at The Midtown International Theater Festival, followed by a critically-acclaimed commercial Off- Broadway run at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Theater Center, 50th Street and Broadway in New York City. The production was directed by Dewey Moss, with set design by James Noone, lighting design by Zach Blane, costume design by Teresa Sneider-Stein, sound design by David Lawson, with General Management by Lisa Dozier King. The cast was as follows: James Kiberd (Big Jim), Ben Curtis (Jim Jr.), Katherine Leask (Marianne), Kathleen Huber (Grandma Vivi'n), Julie Campbell (Kimmy), Jacques Mitchell (Bobby), Alec Shaw (Kris), and Clifton Samuels (Dean).
"RUN, SAVE YOURSELVES,
DO NOT MISS THE CRUSADE...
Make no mistake, this is a full two hours containing the kind of plot revelation and family secrets that make us decide how we want to be remembered as a country. Mr. Moss knows he’s throwing down a gauntlet here, and Evangelical audience members sitting side by side with vocal members of the LGBTQ community were all in attendance on the night I saw this chilling performance.”
– Bill Crouch, Stagebuddy
"A play that comes roaring out the gate like a bull let loose from its corral, tearing up the stage at the Jerry Orbach Theater...
...for two fiery hours before sending us off to think (a lot) about what we have borne witness to. It’s a cri-de-coeur by the playwright, Dewey Moss, who also directs the fine company. He is a man on a mission to shine a light on LGBT issues.”
– Howard Miller, UPSTAGE-DOWNSTAGE
“The Crusade of Connor Stephens is a powerful examination of important issues that plague our society...
...shining a spotlight on bigotry, hatred, and the deadly violence in which they all-too-frequently result. Written and directed by Dewey Moss, the contemporary tragedy, in keeping with today’s headlines, contrasts a spirit of love and acceptance with a climate of judgment and condemnation, and shows the effect vitriolic words can have on innocent lives.”
– Deb Miller, DC METRO ARTS
“Moss has crafted a well-worded response to the country’s ongoing debate on gun violence...
...but inflects it with just enough religiosity and jingoistic fervor to let us know exactly whom to root for. In the end, such quibbles are for naught, because the hard eventuality of a shooting, be it in the real world or on the stage, is that no one wins.”
– Karen Ebenezer, Off-Off-Online
“The Crusade of Connor Stephens is a message for our times...
...in the current climate of gun violence, anti LGBTQ platforms, and a rising incidence of hate crimes in the USA.”
– Anne Akers, Don411
“A thought-provoking subject matter...
...a family drama that triggers an explicable tragedy, and the murder that tears the same family apart, is one of the main themes of this charming play that will make you talk about it even much later.”
— Ulkar Alakbarove, Movies Move Me
“THE CRUSADE OF CONNOR STEPHENS eschews easy answers...
... and ripped-from-the-headlines relevance in favor of a more challenging exploration of clashing ideologies.”
— Ethan Kanfer, New York Theater Reviews
“Playwright Dewey Moss has crafted a very complex and illuminating family drama about acceptance, loss,
religion, and hate...
...In many ways, “Crusade” and the recently closed “Sweat,” by Lynn Nottage, are complementary views of Trump’s America. Nottage focused on the troubles of the working class; Moss shows us the power and destructiveness of those who believe the first amendment empowers them to govern others with their religion. Both playwrights are not interested in the politics; they want to show us the people and the extremes to which they are driven.”
“The Crusade of Connor Stephens could not be more relevant...
...in the current climate of the strengthening of the religious right and in the face of the anti-LGBTQ platform seemingly supported by the current Administration."
— David Roberts, Theatre Reviews LTD
“The Crusade of Connor Stephens explores the results of conditions being imposed on love, untenable familial
...issues behind gun violence, LGBT and adoption rights, and religion today, to name a few, viscerally raising questions and heightening awareness, but does not itself preach it.”
— Lisa Panzer, DelcoCultureVultures