Ben Kaye

Ben Kaye

Director, performer, words, music.
Managing Director of Red Tape Theatre.
Chicago-based.
(he/they)

Plays

  • Dead Sheep.
    In Sophocles' classic play AJAX, the eponymous soldier is tricked by the Gods into murdering a flock of sheep that he takes to be his fellow Grecian soldiers. But what the hell does the Chorus think about all this mess? Why doesn't Eurysaces have any lines? Where the hell does Athena go after the first scene? Who is this play for anyway?
    DEAD SHEEP is a comedy (until it isn't) about the...
    In Sophocles' classic play AJAX, the eponymous soldier is tricked by the Gods into murdering a flock of sheep that he takes to be his fellow Grecian soldiers. But what the hell does the Chorus think about all this mess? Why doesn't Eurysaces have any lines? Where the hell does Athena go after the first scene? Who is this play for anyway?
    DEAD SHEEP is a comedy (until it isn't) about the characters left on the sidelines of classic Greek tragedies, and how the real drama isn't always front and center.
  • today i saw a bird and watched you fly away with it.
    *10-MINUTE PLAY*
    Roxie invites Sean to a work call over Zoom on Saturday.
    It's not about work.

    A short play about being alone and being together and the absolute terror of it all.
    Also birds.

Recommended by Ben Kaye

  • The Trade Federation, or, Let's Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels
    26 Apr. 2021
    The Trade Federation is the absolute best of contemporary playwriting: critically and unabashedly analyzing our pop culture through a political lens in a way that is daring, incisive, and absolutely hilarious. By the time we arrive at the play's grand, communal finale, it's impossible not to be hooked into this world of grand anti-capitalist analysis and George Lucas apologia. You'll never watch a Star Wars film the same way again, and for the better!
  • Red Clay Halo
    26 Apr. 2021
    A powerful work of community-building, an epic theatrical conversation between race, religion, and politics. Boyd's theatrical instincts shine in creating worlds of ephemeral storytelling and grounded character-building. A play that sings - literally and spiritually - and looks to our past to build a stronger future in solidarity. I cannot wait to see this play come alive one day soon.
  • The Tasters
    7 Aug. 2019
    Saw this at Victory Gardens' Ignition Festival. Earnestly and honestly one of the funniest and sharpest new plays I've seen in recent memory. While the setting is intentionally non-specific, the tone and message and impact and atmosphere are fantastically precise in their imagery and emotion. The fires of revolution are stoked and ignited in this bonkers piece of writing that so easily flips between chaos and introspection. How will we succeed in the revolution? Who knows, but I can't wait for a full production of this show to find out.
  • #NewSlaves
    7 Aug. 2019
    Saw this new work at Victory Gardens' Ignition Festival. An unflinching, movement-based, epic piece of writing, mixing and mangling realistic, down-to-earth drama with stylized imagery, the melding of history-hopping scenes, fourth-wall-breaking meta-commentary, and so much more. A sprawling, necessary drama connecting the dots between slavery and sports through emotionally resonant means. Truly loved this one.
  • The Gradient
    7 Aug. 2019
    Got to see this remarkably hilarious and harrowing new work at Victory Gardens' Ignition Festival. A bold, prescient look at the attempt to find a fixed solution to a chaotic problem. Deeply uncomfortable, asking the audience (especially masculine audience members) how we exhibit toxicity and aggression in our own every-day behavior. Not to mention, just a really damn funny piece of writing. I can't wait to see what a full production of this work looks like.