Al Trainor hates selling cars. The former high school football star can only dream about what might have been – an exciting college football stint filled with glory and girls, and then on to a lucrative professional career. Unfortunately, a fateful knee injury ended his dream. And fate has more cards to play. The man whom Al holds responsible for his life-changing injury, Parker Robinson, his high school football coach, is walking into the dealership. Propelled in large part by Al’s gridiron greatness four years ago, Parker Robinson’s career has rocketed skyward. Robinson has just signed a multi-year contract to coach the city’s professional football team. Now he and his new lady friend are going to spend some of his new wealth. Catalyzed by a cast of unusual characters, the confrontation between player and coach is emotional, action-packed, and unpredictable. About 25 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT JEFF STRAUSSER TALKS ABOUT
“LAST STOP FOR THE A-TRAIN”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: Constantly meeting middle-aged men trapped in their adolescent years inspired me to write this play. I wanted to capture what happens to the boys of fall when football finally ends—and it always does. Many invested so much in football because they were eager to please coaches and parents, and now when they no longer have that attention, they must search to fill that void. Sadly, some never find fulfillment because nothing else was ever important to them.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: My favorite part of the play is at the end where Coach Parker Robinson finally acknowledges, albeit somewhat cryptically, that he rode on the back of Al Trainor to get to where he is now. Along with this admission, Robinson decides to try to make amends. It is a belated affirmation of Al’s life and Parker Robinson’s humanity.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM?
ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: I know quite a few middle-aged men who continue to return to their high schools trying to earn the respect and love of their old coach, or they try to relive (and rewrite) their high school days through their sons. In their case, football wasn’t character building; it built characters.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to show that zeal for success, especially in sports, has to be controlled or it will control you.