by Barbara Lebow
by Barbara Lebow
The play links two stories separated by more than a century, using the rhythms and feelings inspired by trains.
The first - Goin' North - is about two travelers going by train from New Orleans to Montreal in 1895. As an older African-American and his young white charge ride north in a private car, they explore the depths of their relationship.
The second - The Beast - is set in Trenton, New Jersey, today. On a wall overlooking the tracks, two homeless men grapple with the tensions of mutual dependence and the price of personal freedom.
“The stories by Barbara Lebow intricately weave themselves into a web of contradiction that entraps the audience until the closing moments. Each point of view, whether the optimistic youth or the cynical man, pulls the audience, stretching them to both sides of the same circle.”
“The nice thing about using trains as the common thread for a play is all the room it leaves for creating a story within any slice society. Beginning with melodic verses on the places locomotives take us in our minds and on the map, TRAINS pulls us into two contrasting worlds set over a century apart...Crossing over lines of race, kinship, family tradition, and fate, issues of unlikely dependence emerge.”
—UCSB Bottom Line.
“Using the speeding giants that crisscross the nation as metaphor for life’s many journeys, Lebow has written a dramatic piece that examines ideas as well as situations and effectively places people above plot…By using characters of very different backgrounds, stations in life and from different periods of time, Lebow has achieved a feeling of universality in focusing on her dominant themes on dependence and independence, the need for one another and the need for freedom that is present in all human relationships.”