Written by Lowell Byers
Directed by Austin Pendleton
Friday, March 31, 2017–Sunday, April 30, 2017
"Luft Gangster becomes more riveting and engrossing as it progresses, slowly revealing its emotional center and taking great care in its character development— particularly the main character of Lou and his fellow POW’s...Playing double duty as the play’s author and as performer, Lowell Byers is particularly excellent in the lead...[it is] guaranteed to captivate the audience. The fact that it’s faithfully translated from a true story, however, really... shall we say, 'brings it home.'” - The Huffington Post
"Luft Gangster is presented as part of the Sheen Center’s “’War Is Hell’ Theatre Series.” If you’ve ever had any question about the validity of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous observation, this compelling true story will alleviate any doubts." - DC Metro Theater Arts
"[The] ensemble [is] top-notch. Throw in legendary and masterful director Austin Pendleton and a very sleek downtown theater space and you've got a recipe for a wonderful night at the theater." - YesBroadway
"Luft Gangster is a gem." - Theater That Matters
"Austin Pendleton’s even touch as a director provides the right restrain."- OffOffOnline
"A riveting and intense drama." - Rising Action
The story of U.S. Army Air Corps veteran and prisoner of war Sgt. Louis Fowler is told in Lowell Byers's gripping and visceral drama, Luft Gangster.
After bailing out of his crippled B24 bomber under heavy fire from German forces, waist gunner Lou Fowler is captured by the Nazis. Incarcerated along with other Allied fliers in an inhumane Nazi prison camp, where POWs view new prisoners with suspicion as possible Nazi infiltrators, Lou has to heal his own battle injuries, as his captors treat him as just another "luft gangster" - a term Joseph Goebbels created as propaganda to convince the German nation that all American flyers were criminals released from prison by the US government in order to fight in World War II.
As Lou endures the hellish and unsanitary conditions of prison camp life, subsisting on what could barely be described as food and enduring unspeakable cruelty, surviving to escape becomes his only goal. In a time and place where men on both sides of the war were stripped of all things civilized and reduced to the bare essentials of life, where a single slip of the tongue could mean death, Lou will have to rely on his faith to make it out alive.
Please note: There is no late seating for these performances.
"A loving look into the bond formed by good men in impossible circumstances." - Theatre is Easy
“The show is thrilling, seamless, and real.” - Theatre is Easy
“The acting is exemplary.” - Theatre Scene
“Haunting and moving. Byers, Pendleton, and Nylon Fusion have quite a power piece here.” - The ArtsWire
Story comes first. Cloverleaf Collective is group of collaborative writers working together to create new work for Theatre, Film, and TV.
Nylon, born of a fusion of New York and London creativity, is a theatre company committed to giving voice and perspective to established and emerging artists. We develop and produce plays that explore political, social and cultural awareness.
There will be talkbacks after the Wednesday, April 19th evening performance and the Sunday, April 23rd matinee performance.