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Salvation Road

A stage drama for family audiences. Suitable for youth theatre.

Salvation Road
Two guys. One rusted out Honda. Twenty-four hours to separate a girl from her guru. The road to Hell was never more fun.

When his hip older sister Denise disappears with members of a fundamentalist church, 17-year-old Cliff Kozak struggles to hold it all together, pretending that he isn’t hurt by her decision to cut him out of her life. But a year later, a chance sighting of Denise at a New Jersey strip mall leads Cliff and his best buddy Duffy on a road trip into the heart of a deepening mystery. Why would a smart and talented girl like Denise fall for the hollow promises of a sleazy preacher? Could it be that blind faith is just another term for a desperate need to belong?

Awards & Acclaim

"Salvation Road is a moving and well-crafted play, impressively staged and acted as part of Louisville’s first Slant Culture Theatre Festival (of many, let’s hope!). The play stirs emotions and engenders thought that will occupy audiences long after the stage is bare."

-- Arts-Lousville

American Alliance for Theatre in Education (AATE) Playwrights in Our Schools Award, 2011
Marilyn Hall Award 2009, honorable mention, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild
Named “Show You Can’t Miss” by Philadelphia Weekly for 2009 Philly Fringe Workshop (one-act version)


Production History

Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa., full production, April 12 – 20, 2013
Walden Theatre, Louisville, Ky., full production, Nov. 8 – 13, 2012
New York University Steinhardt School, full production, Oct. 26 – Nov. 4, 2012
New York University New Plays for Young Audiences, developmental workshop, June 16-17, 2012
Utah University Youth Theatre, workshop,  (large-cast version) May 18, 2011
Art Riot Theatrical Co. (Philly Fringe, one-act version), Aaron Oster, director, Sept 4-12, 2009

Production Details

Originally written as a small cast play for six actors to double into nine speaking parts, Salvation Road also is available in a large-cast play version, suitable  for youth theater and/or educational theater. As a stage play for a large cast, Salvation Road can be performed by 12 to 16 actors---doubling into five roles for men and 11 roles for women. 

Set in 2009 insuburban Philadelphia and a college campus in New Jersey, and dealing with the issue of cult awareness, the small cast version of this stage play is a strong choice for UIL competitions but also is highly recommended for age-appropriate casting in university productions, given that the characters range in age from 15 to late 20s. In addition, the treatment of the material is often highly funny, interspersing a buddy-movie style comedy with a hero's quest. 

Cast List:

Cliff Kozak, 17, and earlier, in memory
Jill, his sister, 15, and earlier, in memory
Denise, their sister, 19 and earlier, in memory
Brian Duffy, Cliff's friend, 18
Elijah, early to mid 20s, a current member of the Disciples
Rebecca, a current member of the Disciples
Sister Jean, a campus chaplain
Simi, a girl, 20, who left the Disciples
Father's voice (can be recorded).

Run time: 1 hour 30 minutes. 

Photo Credit

Photo Courtesy Ryan Maxwell Photography