The 2017 Obie Award Winner for BEST NEW AMERICAN THEATRE WORK

The ARS NOVA Production of
Created by Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard
with Lightning Rod Special
Directed by Taibi Magar

Featuring Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard

Production Design by Tilly Grimes
Scenic Design by Steven Dufala
Lighting Design by Oona Curley
Sound Design by Mikaal Sulaiman

Good morning, America! Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers are getting down and dirty with today’s lesson. The nimble duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation’s history, tackling race, sex, and power in this R-rated, kaleidoscopic, and fearless comedy.

This show will run approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.

R-rated: racially-charged language, nudity, and sexual acts


The New York Times Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016
“In-all-ways sensational.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Time Out New York Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016
“Outrageously funny! Strikingly Rendered by bold, smart performances.”
– Adam Feldman, Time Out New York

“Explosive! Fearlessly, ferociously uninhibited… the show’s most subversive quality is also quintessentially American: it’s wildly entertaining.”
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker

“You’ve never seen a play quite like Underground Railroad Game.”
– Peter Marks, The Washington Post


Nate Barker and Rebecca Czarnecki
The Hon. Karen Brody & Mr. Michael Hughes
Isabelle Clark
Ann Corrigan and Kent Rice
Les Crispelle and Glenn Tiedt
Elizabeth and Timothy Hepp
Kendra and Ben Ingram
Kelci Price and Jason Stoddart
Susan Tucker
Elizabeth Steele

Dates & Times

DateTimeAdditional Information
Production Team

Post Show Discussions

Join us for a signature post-show discussion and call to action after each performance with a member of the Curious team and artists (as available.)

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught: The Miseducation of Youth

A panel on teaching history, race, oppression, and slavery.

June 24  3:30 PM (following the 2 pm performance) FREE

How do we teach and how should we teach our next generation about America’s fraught racial legacy of enslavement, oppression, and violence? Without guidance and support from educators, many students leave school without grappling with how our nation’s past continues to shape our country today in both systemic and personal ways. Without careful examination of curriculum, many students are receiving only the narrative of the oppressor, a perpetuation of this cycle. Quite simply put, you’ve got to be carefully taught.

Join educators, artists, activists, and community leaders as we tackle this complex topic. If you’ve ever sat through an American History class – whether in a student’s chair or from behind the teacher’s desk – this conversation is for you.

A Play on the Usual Underground Railroad Story

Excellent Article on the Show. (Note: Contains detailed play description and spoilers.)

Playing a ‘Game’ to Reveal Uncomfortable Truths About Race

“We are not natural collaborators,”

“He kept stumbling over the large swath of people that the talk was referencing.”

Language about race is a principal focus of the play: who is permitted to say what, the way speech shapes and reveals thought, the pain that history has embedded in certain words.

Read more…


The Underground Railroad was a network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped slaves from the South.

The exact dates of its existence are not known, but it operated from the late 18th century to the Civil War, at which point its efforts continued to undermine the Confederacy in a less-secretive fashion. Read More:…

The right way to teach history

A Washington  post by Valarie Strauss  

Instead of making the past come alive, kids need to come alive.

Focusing on historical principles that kids can use “right here, right now,” Read more…

Racism unraveled – how it works and how its guise is changing Anne-Ruth Wertheim

Racism is a hodgepodge to start with comprising two components: exploitation racism and competition racism. And to make it even more complicated – the proportion of each of these two components in racism as a whole is also shifting as time progresses. Read More:…

Things Everyone Should Understand About Interracial Relationships

while things have changed socially, there’s still a lot missing from the conversation surrounding interracial relationships. Read More:…

The Dolls – Installation

What a strange task it was, to create an installation to present these tactile, meticulously made objects to audiences who have just experienced Underground Railroad Game.

If the audience can not touch the dolls, what can be gained by shuffling by these little black objects in a theater lobby? Read more…

The Quick Discrimination Index

This survey, called the Quick Discrimination Index, is designed to assess sensitivity, awareness, and receptivity to cultural diversity and gender equity. Because this is a self-assessment inventory, it is essential that you respond to each item as honestly as possible. Survey Link..

The Touch of Flesh with Flesh

Sharon Patricia Holland’s slim study The Erotic Life of Racism.

“because the black subject is mired in space and the white subject represents the full expanse of time.” Facing this dilemma, Erotic Life asks: “Exactly how does one move beyond a nonevent?”

With a link to the complete study:


BVSD, Impact on Education team up to teach trans-Atlantic slave trade history

Moving forward through better understanding of the past

By Amy Bounds

Timely Article on Teaching about Slavery in Boulder.


Stay tuned! More resources coming soon.

In Media

  • Let’s Play ‘Underground Railroad Game’: A Lacerating Comedy on Race

    The New York Times Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016 "In-all-ways sensational... Just don’t expect anyone to have mercy on you."

  • You’ve never seen a play quite like ‘Underground Railroad Game.’

    The words come to mind at least a dozen times during “Underground Railroad Game,” the scathing, shocking, incandescently original performance piece: “Oh wow, they’re going there.”

  • Race and romance go off the rails in Underground Railroad Game

    Time Out New York Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016 “Outrageously funny! Strikingly Rendered by bold, smart performances.”

  • Now Playing

    “Explosive! Fearlessly, ferociously uninhibited… the show’s most subversive quality is also quintessentially American: it’s wildly entertaining.”

  • REVIEW: Underground Railroad Game Is a Wild Ride at Curious

    The play is in no way didactic, nor is it really a spur to action. The content is more dreamlike — nightmarish, even — than analytic. And it’s riveting.

  • REVIEW: Tall Tales, Telluride Inside

    Underground Railroad Game, for its sheer audacity and occasionally stunning imagery, will take your breath away... The Curious Theatre Company deserves tremendous credit for giving this production a home for its short run here—it’s a bracing show and one heck of a show to finish another strong season.

  • 'Underground Railroad Game' At Curious Theatre Embraces Uncomfortable History

    Audio recording of live radio broadcast. "The new production at Curious Theatre Company doesn't shy away from slavery, sex and race. "Underground Railroad Game," which debuted in 2016 in New York at the experimental off-broadway theater Ars Nova, plays in Denver starting Thursday, June 14 through July 1."

  • Humans of Flowh

    The play is not afraid to bring into conversation the things that we, as a society, are dealing with today.