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Life on the Third Rail, or A Subway Delay to the Future

Opening Date: Aug 05, 2023

Closing Date: Sep 17, 2023

Running Time: 01:15

Life on the Third Rail, or A Subway Delay to the Future Show Site Icon

Playing @

Various Locations

Site Specific Location New York City, NY 00000

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Theater for the New City‘s award-winning Street Theater Company presents a rip-roaring original musical which tells a story in which a violent hurricane floods the subways, sending a heroic subway crew into a new world. Book, lyrics and direction are by Crystal Field, Artistic Director of Theater for the New City (TNC). The musical score is composed and arranged by Joseph Vernon Banks. Free performances will tour parks, playgrounds and closed-off streets throughout the five boroughs.

The musical is the saga of a Train Operator and a Subway Conductor in an emergency flood situation. A violent hurricane, spurred by global warming, has inundated the subways and so the MTA is moving all of its trains out of underground tunnels and stations. The duo have been been driving a car for repair that somehow got left behind. Will they make it to the train yards?!

The emergency is reflected in their dreams as they wait for rescue. In watery tunnels, the elements of Planet Earth now cry out for sustenance. Water, Air, the Green of the Plants, the Electricity of Light and the Torrential power of the Ocean come alive, dancing before their eyes as the Conductor and Train Operator, with the help of a Subway Tracker, try to back their #2 train into Central Station for repair. Will the Earth survive man’s destruction and exploitation? Will the Life Force continue to make us feel the beauty of today and the promise of tomorrow? Will the support necessary for the survival of the planet materialize? The musical questions the future of NYC and the planet together, starting with climate change but rippling through many other economic and social challenges, from subway surfing to affordable housing, that weigh on our City’s ultimate survival.
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COVID-19 Safety Information

Masks are optional but encouraged.

Performance Schedule:

Added performance Friday, August 18 @ 5 PM

Visit for performance locations.


Joseph Vernon Banks


Crystal Field


Crystal Field


Crystal Field

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