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Dean Holt. Photo by Rob Levine.


Barry Kornhauser, playwright
Michael Koerner, composer


30 pgs. 4 female, 11 male
+ensemble of 50-60 Keystone Kops (a minimum of 15)
Doubling is possible
Originally produced in CTC’s 2005-2006 season
Audience Recommendation: All Ages
Run Time: 60 minutes



In the spirit of the silent movie era celebrated by The Artist (winner of the 2011 Academy Award), Reeling (winner of the 2006 Ivey Award) brings the timeless style and joy of vintage film to the stage.

Without a single spoken word, Reeling tells the story of the Little Fellow, based on the film persona of silent movie great Buster Keaton. His marriage proposal turned down by Beloved, the Little Fellow heads to the big city to make something of himself, and winds up in a motion picture studio where he is mistaken for the big-shot director. Comic mayhem ensues with an impossibly happy ending, as our hero and his girl literally escape the chaos into the silver screen. Riffing off of Keaton’s genius, Reeling is not so much a silent movie on stage as a theatrical interpretation of the genre, a celebration of the human spirit and the enduring power of art.

As CTC Artistic Director Peter Brosius noted: “What a great thing for kids to know, that no matter what befalls you – and things will befall you – you can keep putting one foot in front of the other [even in slap shoes] and find a way to laugh. …Through persistence, through laughter, through blind faith and a wee bit of optimism, you can make it.”

“The show’s roots lie in the time-transcendent soil of the pratfall and the struggle of the little guy to make good. From that fertile ground comes laughter – and wisdom – that rings loud and clear.” – St. Paul Pioneer Press

“What has emerged is a story and performance noted as much for its poignancy as for its pratfalls.” – American Theatre Magazine

*Winner of the 2006 IVEY Award for Playwriting*

Classroom Reading Fee: $50 per classroom, per semester
Amateur/Educational Royalty Fee: $85 per performance
Professional Royalty Fee: please inquire for a quote
The royalty fee includes permission to make copies of the perusal script for your cast.

*Reeling is not a musical, but a CD of underscoring is available for an additional fee.



Big Man Entrance


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