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All the Rage Comedy/Satire 10 (8m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

A blood-splattered body lies on the living room carpet at the start of ALL THE RAGE. By the end of this examination of our culture of violence, eleven characters have been killed, sent to prison or gone mad. Yes, ALL THE RAGE is a comedy. The action takes place in an unnamed city today, in a series of scenes that show the interconnected lives of ten characters. Among them are an estranged husband and wife, a gay couple, a criminal and his underage sister/lover, an eccentric millionaire and his former personal secretary turned video store owner. They all come in contact and set a chain of violent events in motion. A modern-day Jacobean Revenge Tragedy, ALL THE RAGE gives us a picture of a world spinning out of control, as everybody has a gun and is ready to use it.

"…dark, violent, funny, and highly theatrical satire from the modern master of moral struggle and urban paranoia…[This] graphic comedy explores the fashionability of guns, and the fears and frustrations which lead people to use them …" —BackStage. "People who want to kill people may not be the craziest people in the world. They may be sitting at a nearby desk, living next door to you or looking back at you in the mirror…ALL THE RAGE investigates rage of the free-floating, menacing kind…[Reddin's] powerful, often hilarious displays of pent-up hostility ingeniously bring into play devices of opera and classical theater."

—NY Times. 

Almost Blue Drama 4 (2m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

ALMOST BLUE is a stage noir set in a seedy rooming house. A man just out of prison trying to stay straight, a strange loner down the hall who writes pornographic greeting cards, a violent ex-con who wants to settle old scores. And of course, the beautiful woman in trouble, who messes with everybody's head. Written in a series of brutal, funny encounters, ALMOST BLUE is a journey into the dark night, full of plot twists and sultry exchanges.

"…a tough ninety-minute play that succeeds in a difficult genre: stage noir…There are mysteries to unravel, and the threat of violence bubbles on the surface, but as with all good noir, the characters carry the suspense…What results is a taut drama that builds in tension, sexual and otherwise, and has enough surprises in the last five minutes to make a seasoned noir fan gasp…" —NY Times. "Reddin, a literate playwright with an uncanny feel for styles and genres, is not content providing cheap thrills…Consequently, along with the dirty deeds, there are some searing moments in which the story takes on a fierce, savage dimension beyond pulp fiction." —Chicago Tribune.   

Black Snow Drama 15 (11m, 4f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Sergei Maxudov is reluctantly working as a newspaper man and has written a novel everyone is sure will never pass the censors. In despair, Maxudov is about to commit suicide when he is interrupted by the mysterious Rudolfi, a publisher who wants to buy the novel. But after the novel's first installment appears in print, Rudolfi unaccountably disappears, leaving Maxudov in the lurch. But Maxudov's bleak literary prospects are rescued once again, when a note is slipped under his door requesting him to come immediately for a talk with Ilchin, the holder of a long string of artistic titles at the renowned Independent Theatre. Maxudov accepts an offer to adapt his novel for the stage, and sets off on a roller coaster ride in the tumultuous world of the Independent Theatre. Seeing his play advertised alongside Shakespeare and Sophocles, Maxudov is overcome with giddiness at his new fame, but the experience soon takes a darker turn when he meets the theater's artistic director, the formidable Ivan Vasilievich. Ivan decides he must personally oversee the production, and inflicts his legendary acting method upon the rehearsals. Maxudov soon discovers he is contractually manacled to the eccentric whims of the theater's management, and has no power to stop their meddling with his creation. Maxudov becomes increasingly frustrated by the artistic hypocrisy of the theater, which itself is subject to government oppression. Reduced to another cog in the workings of the labyrinthine theater bureaucracy, Maxudov is forced to choose between artistic compromise or suicide.

Winner of the Joseph Jefferson award for Best Play. A writer's dream turns into a nightmare as Sergei Maxudov's novel is finally going to be presented as a play at the Theatre of Moscow, and the rehearsals reveal the hypocrisy and frustration of producing a true artistic piece. "…Mr. Reddin has crafted an incredibly funny and effective farce from Bulgakov's railings against the autocrats and institutions…" —Wall Street Journal. "BLACK SNOW is wonderful, wonderful and—at the risk of overselling—wonderful…In its first act it is one of the funniest plays of the season…in the second act, it gets better, darker, even funnier, more poignant and extremely powerful." —Chicago Tribune.   

Brutality of Fact Comedy/Satire; Drama 8 (2m, 6f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Val, a matriarch, comes to live with her daughter, Jackie. Jackie, recently divorced and having lost custody of her daughter, takes her mother in willingly but also enlists her in a crusade to convert everyone to a Jehovah's Witness. The two women comb the neighborhoods with religious magazines, shoring up Jackie's faith and killing Val's optimism, not to mention her feet! Val's other daughter, Maggie, surfaces after a long absence to be told that her mother thinks she's dead—since Maggie vanished years ago, Jackie just thought it easier to lie. Maggie's trying to kick her drinking habit and hearing this news doesn't help. Reacquainted with her slightly surprised mother, Maggie tries to be the ear Val needs when she can't stand living with either Jackie's fanatical ways or her newfound zealot boyfriend, Chris. Val runs away, but Maggie can't take her in. The hilarious yet dark situations continue as: Jackie develops questions about her faith, and her new husband; Maggie finds sobriety; and grand-mother Val hangs out to help her other granddaughter, Marlene, through it all.

"There are plenty of laughs in Keith Reddin's BRUTALITY OF FACT…a sequence of short, punchy scenes in which the playwright explores a family that is terminally dysfunctional…Credit Reddin's quirky way with dialogue and oddball confrontations. Some of his scenes could stand as fully formed mini one-act plays." —Copley News Service. "In BRUTALITY OF FACT, the playwright continues to plumb the void of modern life and to expose our attempts to fill them. Like most of Reddin's work, BRUTALITY is written in brief, seamless, rapid-fire scenes…full of smart, snappy dialogue." —Chicago Sun-Times. "In his smart and painfully funny new play, BRUTALITY OF FACT, Keith Reddin's…dialogue is so funny…that the play…becomes a resounding triumph of laughter over despair…a painfully funny view of our ongoing struggle to make sense out of human existence." —Daily Herald.   

Desperadoes 3 (2m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In DESPERADOES, Phil and Rebecca have robbed a convenience store and have taken the proprietor, Walt, hostage. Now they are in a rundown motel on the Jersey Turnpike where Rebecca taunts the blindfolded Walt while Phil talks grandiosely of bigger "jobs" to come. The truth, however, is that Phil is a lily-livered bungler, and Walt is a boyhood friend whose store he held up by accident. As Walt distracts Phil with memories of their youthful escapades, Rebecca grows increasingly impatient with both of them. In the end she takes the money and drives off, leaving the ineffectual Phil to salvage what he can of his shattered braggadocio.

     

Frame 312 Drama 6 (2m, 4f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Lynette is a suburban housewife with a terrible secret. Greeting her children for her birthday, she has a chance to recognize her children's faults and her own shortcomings and to reach out. She will tell them about her involvement with a historic event over thirty years earlier. Lynette's inner and outer life have been out of synch, and her final act cracks the surface forever, making it possible for Lynette to unearth her buried self at last.

"…a solidly engaging show." —New City Chicago. "…an intriguing portrait of the impact that Kennedy's death had on a nation by showing us the remnants of a nuclear family, 30 years later…a thought-provoking, well-acted meditation on what we've all become." —Phoenix New Times. "After a plethora of new American plays aimed at the solar plexus, it is gratifying to find one that appeals to the mind." —Guardian (London). "For those millions who are still desperate to get to the bottom of what really happened in Dallas in November 1963 or still worship JFK, FRAME 312 should prove thought-provoking." —British Theatre Guide.    

Human Error Drama 3 (2m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

At a crash site somewhere in the Midwest, investigators Miranda and Erik stand amongst the wreckage. Middle-aged colleagues relatively new to each other, they tentatively begin a relationship. Although Miranda initially rebuffs Erik, it isn't long before the two have tumbled into bed together. The resulting vulnerability they both reveal and a subsequent encounter with a survivor of the crash shed light on the fragility of life and love.

"Mr. Reddin shows admirable subtlety…leaves you contemplating happiness, loss, and how arbitrarily one can smother the other." —NY Times. "…an absorbing new play…touching in its understated conversation and quiet, yet poignant conclusion." —Star-Ledger. "[Reddin's] characters are authentic human beings, the plot absorbing, his dialogue lifelike and literate." —Bloomberg.com. "Reddin displays a strong empathy for his flawed yet endearing characters especially Miranda, whose transformation from hard-edged cynicism to wounded sorrow is deeply touching…HUMAN ERROR has far more heart than most plays." —NY Post. "The characters, caught up in their separate grief, haltingly comfort one another. Reddin, with a minimum of words, but these spare words are extremely well chosen, shows us the grass is still green and sky is still blue on the other side of this scorched and desiccated spot." —Variety.   

Innocents' Crusade, The Comedy/Satire 6 (3m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In an increasingly bizarre (and funny) series of college admissions interviews, Bill, a bright but unfocused young man, can't seem to convince anyone he's more than just a wishful thinker with average test scores. Even worse, Bill's parents have decided to make a family road trip out of their son's college search and are right there every night when he returns to the motel, dejected from the day's failures. It would be bad enough if Bill decided to give up his dreams of a higher education, but instead each rejection inspires him with a new kind of optimism. Taking a cue from an article his mother gives him about a medieval crusade of children (all of whom either starved or drowned on the way to the holy land), Bill takes it into his head that what his generation lacks is a mission and decides to start his own crusade, albeit one with few definable goals. Bill's father, a borderline alcoholic, can't fathom it. Instead of offering Bill his support, he waits and watches for an opportunity to discourage his son and force him into the resigned, work-a-day life that he's had to lead since he was Bill's age. As the "crusade" proceeds from town to town and shopping mall to shopping mall, Bill accrues an increasingly outrageous entourage, not the least interesting of whom is Laura, a runaway heiress, with whom Bill will fall in love.

The trials of college hunting reach unexpected extremes when a bright but unfocused young man corrals his parents, girlfriend and an assortment of equally directionless wanderers into an impromptu road trip aimed at bringing innocence to the world again. "Keith Reddin writes terrific characters, roles actors can really sink their teeth into…he's also a big-picture playwright, tackling complex political themes with rare verve." —Variety.    

Keyhole Lover 3 (2m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In KEYHOLE LOVER, Warren tells of how he used to spy on his sister, Stacey, through the keyhole of the bathroom door, and then, much to Stacey's annoyance, break in on her and her boyfriend, Martin. His actions create a competitiveness and sexual tension which are relieved only when Warren and Martin become close friends, with a relationship that seems to exclude Stacey but which is then abruptly and coldly terminated by Warren—who must now move on to anonymous strangers in search of the meaningful human relationships that seem destined to elude him.

     

Life and Limb Comedy/Satire 9 (7m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As the play begins Franklin, a young draftee, and his new bride, Effie, are on their honeymoon, an idyll which ends when Franklin returns to his unit and then goes off to Korea, where he loses an arm. When he returns home things go steadily from bad to worse; he can't find a job; his wife is having an affair; and they are visited constantly by her best friend, Doina, a Rumanian émigré who mangles the English language and shares Effie's passion for movies. Eventually Franklin lands a job of sorts by virtually selling his soul to Tod, a rather sinister but successful manufacturer of artificial limbs whom Franklin had met in Korea, but his hope of pulling things together at last fails when Effie is killed by a collapsing movie palace balcony. The action then moves to Hell, where Effie and Doina are occupied making potholders and visiting supermarkets and where they are soon joined by Franklin, still the poor innocent searching for an America that promises a boundless, wonderful life—and surely doomed to failure by the oddities and evils of a world he never made.

A biting, brilliantly inventive black comedy, which marked the debut of a young writer of unique talent and theatrical flair. Produced to critical and popular acclaim by New York's famed Playwrights Horizons, the play focuses on the self-satisfied America of the 1950s, and the darkly comic personal vicissitudes of an embittered young veteran who returns from Korea (minus an arm) to face the problems of finding a job and saving his marriage. "…a macabre journey through that [American] mainstream, told in deadpan, cold-bloodedly ghoulish, comic style." —NY Times. "Keith Reddin's play belongs to a vigorous American tradition of broad, black, bitter fantastic-satiric comedy…" —Village Voice. "…there are many funny lines and surprising moments." —The New Yorker.    

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