The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots

Winner of the 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script.

As he lies dying of a stab wound to the face, Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe’s life flashes before his eyes (or rather, eye); his host for this journey is his own personal Mephistopheles, the character about whom he never got to write: the insane Roman emperor, Caligula.

***PRESS...
Winner of the 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script.

As he lies dying of a stab wound to the face, Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe’s life flashes before his eyes (or rather, eye); his host for this journey is his own personal Mephistopheles, the character about whom he never got to write: the insane Roman emperor, Caligula.

***PRESS: "Caligula is a fab character, and an irresistible one ... He gets to recount anecdote after anecdote of Caligula's astonishing, depraved, mythic existence ... But fun in its way as this all is, the heart of Cassidy's play—and the best parts of it—have nothing to do with the Roman emperor. Marlowe is the play's protagonist, after all, and it is what he learns from his experiences ... that really fuel this Reckoning. What I liked best about the play is the way that Cassidy contemporizes Marlowe's existence without in any way diminishing it. ... Cassidy nails what's universal about a character like Marlowe ... One thing's certain: there's talent aplenty on display here. Cassidy is clearly a young theatre artist to watch."
- Martin Denton, nytheatre.com.

"An incredibly fun show about the death and legacy of Christopher Marlowe (sort of) and his failed attempt to write a play about Caligula ... THE RECKONING OF KIT & LITTLE BOOTS is a very inventive and funny play that gives Marlowe the Charlie Kaufman treatment." —James Comtois, Jamespeak, #6 in his "Top 10 of 2008."

"Brilliant, irreverent, original - and very, very different from what the phrase 'a play on Marlowe' tends to make us imagine. ... And there are issues of identity, of art, of humanity, of power - all served with plenty of effective dialogue and black humor. You laugh, you're surprised, you reflect ... [A] great discovery!" - Chiara Prezzavento, Senza Errori di Stumpa (in Italian).

"A great comedy!"
- Chicago Magazine.

"A winter season must see ... THE RECKONING OF KIT & LITTLE BOOTS laces together bawdy humor and historical speculation with charming measure ... Cassidy combines the most dramatic and accurate suppositions of [Marlowe's] history. Using sharp humor and adventurous thinking, Cassidy’s story ultimately pays homage to Marlowe’s tremendous talent. ... The skill on display is beyond commendable and consistent in its entertainment factor. ... [A] manically funny delight ... full of passionate questioning ... THE RECKONING OF KIT & LITTLE BOOTS is a golden affair." - Brian Kirst, Sights and Sounds Magazine

"RECOMMENDED. ... In sharp comic exchanges punctuated by violence, these two characters (and other Caesars and Elizabethan playwrights) explore the use and abuse of power, the necessary but despised role of the spy, and the challenge of writing simultaneously for one’s own time and for the ages. ... A production both intellectual and visceral, whereas so often we have to choose one or the other." - Dueling Critics.

"Caligula is a spicy character, filled with sarcasm and bombastic energy, yet still manages to draw sympathy from the audience ... Cassidy [does] a great job of telling the tale of a lesser-known figure in history. There’s a perfect balance between truth and irony: Known events about Marlowe’s life struggle to be remembered, riddled with inappropriate modern-day humor and outlandish responses from the supporting cast — let’s just say the sexual tension is aplenty. ... Overall, Cassidy’s take on Marlowe’s life is pleasantly refreshing. His characters are all filled with spunk, and it is a great take on an often forgotten Elizabethan playwright. The struggles of power, religion and murder are always welcomed in tragic productions, and Cassidy managed to balance them all in a slightly perfect drama. ... Cassidy [brings] together everything audiences could want in a play. ... Stepping out of a cramped, crowded, black box theater after witnessing all the tragedy, comedy and witty skepticism of Christopher Marlowe‘s life just felt so wrong. A performance packed with actors and a script both acted and written at such a high caliber deserves way more than a couple seats set up around minimal stage space. " - Kristen Torres, Loyola Phoenix.

"The acting, staging, the glimpses of humor and the sheer likeability of Marlowe, Caligula and several of the other characters make it easy to get lost in their Elizabethan world. ... Skirts the edge of Monty Python spoof and meaty drama ... This is a great pick for any anglophile, history buff, or lover of historical fiction. TROK&LB manages to be fun and serious, lighthearted and full of gravitas. Wonderful performances and a sharp script with a modern edge keep everyone on their toes." - Beth Dugan, EDGE
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The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots

Character Information

  • Kit Marlowe
    29,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    A depressed gay atheist playwright. Jealous of his contemporaries. Furious with the status quo. Wants to be remembered. Must have great British accent.
  • Caligula
    29,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    An insane Roman Emperor. Loves his sister. Loves chaos and pain. Hides a lot of trauma. Giddy. The most enjoyable, delightful person in the room. Must have a great British accent.
  • William Shakespeare/Augustus Caesar
    20s-30s,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    A befuddled, dim, working class savant who is an incredible poet but not very learned (NOTE: this play does NOT posit that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays; rather Shakespeare is just infuriatingly gifted without having any of the outer indicators of genius). Also, a stentorian, auspicious Roman Emperor. Must have great British Accent.
  • Thomas Kyd/Tiberius Caesar
    20s-30s,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    The slovenly, disgusting roommate from hell. A raucous fratboy who parties and fucks and drinks all night long and leaves the place a mess. Worse, he's an incredibly successful writer. Also, a debauched, horrifying Roman Emperor. Must have a great British Accent.
  • Walsingham/Julius Caesar
    30s-60s,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Dude, But Please Cast Differently)
    An intimidating, sly spymaster. Slippery. Ominous. Unreadable. Terrifying. Also, a proud, mythical Roman Emperor (technically a tyrant not an emperor, but you know what I mean). Must have a great British Accent.
  • Anne Marlowe/Agrippina
    20s-40s,
    Any (Technically a White Woman, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Woman, But Please Cast Differently)
    A warm, loving, wise, supportive sister who's not afraid to get into a fist fight. Thin, almost serpentine. Also, a cold, cruel Roman who will eventually give birth to Nero. Must have a great British Accent.
  • Dorothy Marlowe/Drusilla
    20s-40s,
    Any (Technically a White Woman, But Please Cast Differently)
    ,
    Any (Technically a White Woman, But Please Cast Differently)
    A loud, rambunctious sister who'll fart on your face if you give her the opportunity. Voluptuous. Also, the sexiest, most mysterious, most passionate Roman.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Fundamental Theater Project
    ,
    2017
  • Workshop
    ,
    Manhattan Theatre Source
    ,
    2009

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    First Floor Theater (Chicago)
    ,
    2013
  • Professional
    ,
    The Gallery Players
    ,
    2008

Awards

Winner
,
Outstanding Full-Length Script
,
New York Innovative Theatre Awards
,
2009