Reina Hardy

Reina Hardy

Reina Hardy is a playwright. Her plays, which usually contain magic and sometimes contain science, have been seen across the country, including at Rorschach Theatre in DC, the Vortex in Austin, and the 2013 NNPN National New Play Showcase. She’s a Michener Fellow, winner of the 2014 KCACTF TYA Prize, finalist for the Terrence McNally Prize and the recipient of an Interact 20/20 Commission. She can make things...
Reina Hardy is a playwright. Her plays, which usually contain magic and sometimes contain science, have been seen across the country, including at Rorschach Theatre in DC, the Vortex in Austin, and the 2013 NNPN National New Play Showcase. She’s a Michener Fellow, winner of the 2014 KCACTF TYA Prize, finalist for the Terrence McNally Prize and the recipient of an Interact 20/20 Commission. She can make things happen with her mind. reinahardy.com

Plays

  • Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven
    FULL LENGTH (3f 2m): FOUR-THEATER NNPN ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE STARTS REHEARSALS IN MARCH 2019!
    Annie Jump is a 13-year-old science genius whose alien-obsessed father is the laughingstock of Strawberry, KS. One night in August, a meteor falls, and Annie meets Althea, an intergalactic supercomputer that manifests itself in the form of a mean girl with really great hair. Althea’s here to help Annie take...
    FULL LENGTH (3f 2m): FOUR-THEATER NNPN ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE STARTS REHEARSALS IN MARCH 2019!
    Annie Jump is a 13-year-old science genius whose alien-obsessed father is the laughingstock of Strawberry, KS. One night in August, a meteor falls, and Annie meets Althea, an intergalactic supercomputer that manifests itself in the form of a mean girl with really great hair. Althea’s here to help Annie take humanity from the earth to the stars, but being the Chosen One isn't all glory. What is Althea hiding? And what will Annie have to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny? A play for all audiences about finding your place in the universe, and intelligent life in your neighborhood.

    "A masterpiece of deft, taut, economical writing. Hardy introduces, defines and develops characters with laser-like precision, creating sympathetic, likable folks the audience can’t help caring about and a fast-moving and engaging story with a good dose of humor."
    -Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

    "Showrunners take note. Hardy... takes the best elements of contemporary cultural references, social media, and pop science and turns them into something more than the sum of those parts—an out-of-this-world, all-ages celebration of nerdiness, empowerment, and love."
    -DC Theater Scene

    "An adventure that takes you to the very edge of existence and back.... an intimate story about the potential that lies in all of us... you'll find yourself stargazing."
    -Broadwayworld.com, DC

    "The cool thing about Hardy's script is how it falls in the in-between. The journey of Annie Jump would mean as much to a teen as it would a grown-up, and we need more theater like that. Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven aims to bridge the gap in theater-going age groups and link up fresh, youthful audiences to that mysterious, perhaps-undiscovered universe of the stage."
    -Broadwayworld.com, MKE

    "...positively jaw-dropping... It’s not often that science fiction makes it to a local stage. Thanks to Hardy and Renaissance, the genre is ushered to the Broadway Theatre Center with wonder, respect and a great deal of genuine emotion."
    -The Small Stage

    "Playwright Reina Hardy writes with economy and authority. She is an excellent storyteller who has the audience rooting for Annie and her father throughout the production... A show like this doesn’t come along all that often. "
    -Totaltheater.com

    Hey! Want to hear this this play instead of reading it? It's available as a podcast from "The Parsnip Ship" https://soundcloud.com/the-parsnip-ship/annie-jump?in=the-parsnip-ship/sets/full-episodes
  • Glassheart
    FULL LENGTH (3f 1m): Beauty never showed up. After centuries under the curse, the Beast and his one remaining magical servant have moved into a shabby apartment near a 7-11, hoping for a lower cost of living and better luck with girls. Their building manager, a fellow immigrant with a taste for gingerbread and children, offers help in navigating this threatening, impossible, completely mundane world, but all...
    FULL LENGTH (3f 1m): Beauty never showed up. After centuries under the curse, the Beast and his one remaining magical servant have moved into a shabby apartment near a 7-11, hoping for a lower cost of living and better luck with girls. Their building manager, a fellow immigrant with a taste for gingerbread and children, offers help in navigating this threatening, impossible, completely mundane world, but all her gifts come with a price. When an eligible maiden moves into the second floor apartment, the servant (a relentlessly cheery lamp) colludes with the landlady to kidnap the girl. The servant finds herself assimilating the girl’s identity, her name, and bookstore job. As she becomes increasingly human, and the Beast becomes increasingly lost, she discovers what– and who– must be sacrificed for an ordinary life.

    “…an offbeat, mature riff on the classic “Beauty and the Beast” fairy tale… Reina Hardy’s updating of the fairy tale is a charming and thought-provoking success.” –DC Theatre Scene

    “Reina Hardy’s eerie, melancholy Glassheart sets itself apart … more than just a love story… seductive and dangerous.” –the Washingtonian

    “Hardy has a flair for off-key insights… funky, poetic… the romantic “Glassheart” certainly has music in its voice.” –the Washingon Post

    “Reina Hardy… has created a text featuring a beautiful matrimony between contemporary dialect and snippets of heightened language. The play drips with heart and ingenuity without being overly sappy or sentimental. Hardy has a gift for telling a story through a feminist and current lens minus beating social commentary over the head.” –Theatre Pizzaz

    “Fans of speculative fiction will appreciate the simple question at the core of Glassheart,.. Hardy’s take on the fairy tale is intriguing and seems to relish in its own magic.”- Austin Chronicle

    “Hardy retells the familiar tale with a feminist slant: it’s the desire of the women that drives the story… Glassheart is a study of opposites, tracing the fine line between the ordinary and extraordinary… the language is lyrical and conversational. The Beast waxes poetic about despair one minute, while Only describes an infomercial the next.” –Theater is Easy

    “Hardy’s moving, clever writing is a delight… The dialogue moves fast and includes some brilliant one-liners—allowing the women in this story to own both the comic relief and the cathartic struggles behind it. … you’ll feel the emotions and existential questions raised by the play for days afterward. What’s in a name? What makes a life? What makes us human?” –MD Theatre Guide

    For reviews and pictures: http://www.reinahardy.com/glassheart
  • Stargazers
    FULL LENGTH (2f, 1m): (originally produced as "Stars and Barmen): Rupert Knox wants two things in life: to make the astronomical discovery of the new millennium and to find a date to his sister’s wedding. He might have found both in Claire, a celestial poet getting over an interstellar break-up. But when a mysterious woman named Elaine shows up at Rupert’s door with an offer of her own, these star-crossed...
    FULL LENGTH (2f, 1m): (originally produced as "Stars and Barmen): Rupert Knox wants two things in life: to make the astronomical discovery of the new millennium and to find a date to his sister’s wedding. He might have found both in Claire, a celestial poet getting over an interstellar break-up. But when a mysterious woman named Elaine shows up at Rupert’s door with an offer of her own, these star-crossed losers–sorry, lovers–will have to make big choices about mortality, true love and whether to stick with vodka or switch to beer. Either way, tonight’s gonna be a good night.

    “Reina Hardy renews locals’ hope in the potential vibrancy of the Austin theatre scene by giving us something we don’t always get here: a rock solid script….Hardy is the high priestess of the quotable one-liner, and she manages to keep her audience in stitches while grappling with some heady philosophical ideas.”- The Austin Chronicle

    “Hardy’s new play is hysterical, sweet, and wonderfully original… Her text is full of heart, humor, and charm, and it touches on how universal loneliness can be. When paired with three immensely talented performers and a brilliant young director, Stars and Barmen is as spectacular as comedies get.” -Broadwayworld
  • Changelings
    FULL LENGTH: "Hardy has imagined a uniquely compelling tale... Changelings... thrust(s) its onlookers into a twisted, fantastical world of fairies and spells where the stakes are high and the unbelievable has become the everyday. Keep your babies close, turn your shirt inside out, and dive headfirst into this realm where up is down and reality has been kicked to the curb." -Austin Chronicle
    ...
    FULL LENGTH: "Hardy has imagined a uniquely compelling tale... Changelings... thrust(s) its onlookers into a twisted, fantastical world of fairies and spells where the stakes are high and the unbelievable has become the everyday. Keep your babies close, turn your shirt inside out, and dive headfirst into this realm where up is down and reality has been kicked to the curb." -Austin Chronicle

    The Powers are a family suffering from a rare inherited condition-their children are extremely likely to be stolen away by a fairy. Megan Powers wants to defy the odds, but her brother, Luther, has to stop her wedding at any cost, even if it means revealing the secret, magical world beneath the city of Austin to an outsider. When he teams up with a lovestruck magician to defeat the Wicked Child, the centuries-old villain that has stalked him his entire life, Luther discovers a startling truth about his own history- and unleashes a danger that no-one can control. A spectacle, a fantasy, a buddy comedy and a family tragedy, "Changelings" asks frightening questions about the making of children and the making of monsters.
  • The Afterparty (formerly known as the Claire Play)
    FULL LENGTH: Claire Leverrier, a poet haunted by the death of her childhood crush, reveals the secrets of the universe using a bicycle light and puppets. “The Claire Play” is a romance. Or is it a metaphor? Either way, Claire might never recover once a star steps down from the sky and invites her to a party.
  • A Map to Somewhere Else
    FULL LENGTH: Once a queen in Draegermandia, always a queen in Draegermandia....

    Three college kids return to an enchanted kingdom, and face everything they left behind.

    Click here for reviews and production photos from the NYC performance: http://www.everydayinferno.com/AMaptoSomewhereElse/

    AMTSE is a play with songs (kind of like "Twelfth Night.") However...
    FULL LENGTH: Once a queen in Draegermandia, always a queen in Draegermandia....

    Three college kids return to an enchanted kingdom, and face everything they left behind.

    Click here for reviews and production photos from the NYC performance: http://www.everydayinferno.com/AMaptoSomewhereElse/

    AMTSE is a play with songs (kind of like "Twelfth Night.") However, only one character sings. Score is available on request.
  • The Other Felix
    FULL LENGTH: Felix Bettleman lives on the hustle, and has, for professional reasons, changed his name. Someone steals his old one, along with his SS#, his voice and his face. Detective Marlow Sharp is here to help, but she obviously can't be trusted. Plus, she's asking the one question Felix can't answer. Who is Lily Arkinder, and why does the Other Felix want her?
  • Dark King Kills Unicorn
    20 MINUTES: Two epic warriors meet in a secluded mountain pass and mostly talk about girls. Contains man-on-unicorn sword fight.
  • Cram School Snow Day
    TEN MINUTES: In the near and dangerous future, a group of cram school teachers wait for the kids to show up or for the city to explode into violence… whichever comes first.
  • Midnite
    FULL LENGTH CO-WRITTEN WITH RORY LEAHY (https://newplayexchange.org/users/16043/rory-leahy). When a group of college film majors venture into the woods to make an ill-advised horror movie, they encounter supernatural forces of love and madness. Based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
  • Changelings: High School Edition: FULL LENGTH
    The Powers are a family suffering from a rare inherited condition-their children are extremely likely to be stolen away by a fairy. Megan Powers wants to defy the odds, but her brother, Luther, has to stop her wedding at any cost, even if it means revealing the secret, magical world beneath the city of Austin to an outsider. When he teams up with a lovestruck magician to defeat the Wicked Child, the centuries-...
    The Powers are a family suffering from a rare inherited condition-their children are extremely likely to be stolen away by a fairy. Megan Powers wants to defy the odds, but her brother, Luther, has to stop her wedding at any cost, even if it means revealing the secret, magical world beneath the city of Austin to an outsider. When he teams up with a lovestruck magician to defeat the Wicked Child, the centuries-old villain that has stalked him his entire life, Luther discovers a startling truth about his own history- and unleashes a danger that no-one can control. A spectacle, a fantasy, a buddy comedy and a family tragedy, "Changelings" asks frightening questions about the making of children and the making of monsters.

    Now in a high school edition! Created for the 2018 Griffin School production, this version adds lots of fun, small, flexible roles (for a total of 19 satisfying speaking roles plus an infinitely expandable chorus of fairies), makes certain characters younger, and tones down some language. The Austin Chronicle described the original 2015 production as "a uniquely compelling tale... Changelings... thrust(s) its onlookers into a twisted, fantastical world of fairies and spells where the stakes are high and the unbelievable has become the everyday. Keep your babies close, turn your shirt inside out, and dive headfirst into this realm where up is down and reality has been kicked to the curb." -Austin Chronicle

    A parent described the Griffin School production as "The first time I've seen my daughter be powerful on stage."
  • Fanatical: A Science Fiction Convention Musical
    FULL LENGTH MUSICAL: "Angel 8" is a cult science fiction TV show. It's also a lifestyle. To the fans gathered at the first-ever "Angel 8" convention, it's EVERYTHING. But when the unthinkable happens during show creator Scott Furnish's long-awaited keynote address, this group of lovable misfits must band together to prove that no power in the 'verse can keep a story from...
    FULL LENGTH MUSICAL: "Angel 8" is a cult science fiction TV show. It's also a lifestyle. To the fans gathered at the first-ever "Angel 8" convention, it's EVERYTHING. But when the unthinkable happens during show creator Scott Furnish's long-awaited keynote address, this group of lovable misfits must band together to prove that no power in the 'verse can keep a story from its fans.


    "A cast of characters that are all-too-likeable and all-too-real ....Fanatical has a brain, a heart, and a finger on the pulse of nerd passion and fandom.... these are canny writers - and a show - with a future."
    -Broadwayworld.com

    "A lovable and inventive sci-fi convention musical... it's easy to be a fan."
    -thestage.co.uk

    "Director Kate Staiger’s well-cast ensemble throws themselves at the material with total commitment... Board does a terrific job of creating music and lyrics."
    -New City Chicago

    "Refreshingly uncynical... an enthusiastically warm-hearted show"
    -My Theatre Mates London

    "A bang up to date homage to that greatest of all fan gatherings - the convention.. the finale is spectacular."
    -Starburst Magazine London

    "Life-affirming... Reina Hardy’s book and Matt Board’s lyrics drip with accuracy.. Fanatical, despite its small size, meets its mighty ambitions."
    -Musical Theatre Review London

    "It was one of the best plays I have ever seen. It was funny. It was well-written. It had an awesome plot line. The songs were so well-written and clever and fun. "
    -Ada Grey Reviews for You (Chicago's favorite ten-year-old theatre critic)

    "...a love letter to fans. I want Wil Wheaton to see this show. I want Nathan Fillion to see this show. I wish it had a bigger space, a longer run, and a larger ensemble"
    -Geek Girl Chicago

    "The only flaw in Fanatical is that it leaves us wanting more."
    -The Chicago Reader
  • Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride
    FULL LENGTH: Meet Susan Swayne and the Society of Lady Detectives – aside from their interest in swordplay, they’re all perfectly proper Victorian women. Or are they? When the distraught Isabelle Fontaine-Kite insists that a member of the S.O.L.D. is actually her missing husband, Eric, Susan Swayne is on the case! Cross-dressing, double-crosses, opium and topless fencing make for an period action farce with...
    FULL LENGTH: Meet Susan Swayne and the Society of Lady Detectives – aside from their interest in swordplay, they’re all perfectly proper Victorian women. Or are they? When the distraught Isabelle Fontaine-Kite insists that a member of the S.O.L.D. is actually her missing husband, Eric, Susan Swayne is on the case! Cross-dressing, double-crosses, opium and topless fencing make for an period action farce with "sass and ovaries of steel" -Chicago Now.


    “Mary Poppins meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in Reina Hardy's action comedy about a Victorian-era "Society of Lady Detectives" – Chicago Reader

    "An unabashed entertainment... Why should the men be the only ones who get to swashbuckle and engage in armed combat?" -Cincinnati Enquirer.

    “Unfailingly decorous and impeccably eloquent even when taking down an attacker with her umbrella or feinting with a sword in her unmentionables, playwright Reina Hardy’s Susan Swayne is a delightful creation.” –Time Out Chicago

    “Extravagant spectacle … a flying-petticoat fracas utilizing an array of household objects, knifework with a grisly hashshashin dagger and a splendiferous surprise-finish to the final girl-power showdown…. Hardy's script displays an articulate mastery of romantic-fiction conventions for this period… It's easy to envision Swayne and her feisty colleagues starring in a series of Steampunk-marketed graphic novels.”- Windy City Times

    “Filled with robust feminism and a distinctively humorous glint, Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s world premiere of Reina Hardy’s Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride is full of gothic delights… Pulsing with a true sense of Victorian melodrama and broad humor, playwright Hardy creates a distinct world… her ultimately compassionate tale brims with juicy life.” -Sheridan Road Magazine

    “It’s a mystery that also makes good use of dramatic irony, a farce that has some poignancy, and a feminist show with elements obviously geared toward men… I challenge anyone to attend and not come away with a smile.” – Chicago Theater Beat

    "Unexpected twists and surprising turns... "a pack of unnatural women,” anachronistically ahead of their time, but fully prepared to keep audiences laughing."- Cincinnati City Beat

    “Susan Swayne is Agatha Christie with sass and ovaries of steel… First in a series- I hope!” –Chicago Now
  • Twelve: A Tragedy
    TEN MINUTES: A princess negotiates with a soldier in this subversive take on a classic fairy tale.
  • The Gauntlet
    ONE ACT: A superhero office comedy. Ancient and modern myths collide in the story of a supergenius billionaire inventor who can’t get over the woman who tried to kill him- even though his winsome, witty secretary is right there with the coffee.
  • The Eidophusikon
    FULL LENGTH: In a buried storage locker under a vacant lot in Illinois, a reclusive man and a strange girl work to build a window to another world. Their only materials? Souvenir prom glasses, old wedding dresses, and other remnants of discarded lives purchased from the dubious secondhand shop Deep Thrift. But when David, a rather large and normal seeming young man, descends into Don and Fatima’s sanctuary in...
    FULL LENGTH: In a buried storage locker under a vacant lot in Illinois, a reclusive man and a strange girl work to build a window to another world. Their only materials? Souvenir prom glasses, old wedding dresses, and other remnants of discarded lives purchased from the dubious secondhand shop Deep Thrift. But when David, a rather large and normal seeming young man, descends into Don and Fatima’s sanctuary in pursuit of a picture he desperately needs for his father’s funeral, he sets their precariously constructed little family on a crash course with reality. “The Eidophusikon” is a play about death, 18th Century technology, and the extraordinary lengths that must be taken to reach the people we love, the ones standing right next to us.

    NOTE: this is a rough draft- available for development opportunities.
  • Agent Andromeda: the Orion Crusade
    A cross between a circus and a sci-fi concept break-up album, this queer sex-positive musical spectacular follows Agent Andromeda as she searches for the Overflowing Chalice, battles an intergalactic corporation, and spars with her “culturally evil” ex-girlfriend, the Dark Queen. Framed by the sexual awakening of three imaginative young girls, and shot through with remembered heartache, “Agent Andromeda” brings...
    A cross between a circus and a sci-fi concept break-up album, this queer sex-positive musical spectacular follows Agent Andromeda as she searches for the Overflowing Chalice, battles an intergalactic corporation, and spars with her “culturally evil” ex-girlfriend, the Dark Queen. Framed by the sexual awakening of three imaginative young girls, and shot through with remembered heartache, “Agent Andromeda” brings the aesthetic of soft-core porn comics to the stage with a combination of camp and sincerity.
  • Bullies (Cowritten with Brock Walsh)
    FULL LENGTH MUSICAL (cowritten with Brock Walsh): Best friends Zoe and Brittany are about to start school at Madison High with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Effusive drama nerd Brittany is planning to reinvent herself. Shy, home-schooled Zoe just wants to stay under the radar - and inside the closet.
    Another Madison high student, bullying victim Joshua, isn't so excited. He has posted a video...
    FULL LENGTH MUSICAL (cowritten with Brock Walsh): Best friends Zoe and Brittany are about to start school at Madison High with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Effusive drama nerd Brittany is planning to reinvent herself. Shy, home-schooled Zoe just wants to stay under the radar - and inside the closet.
    Another Madison high student, bullying victim Joshua, isn't so excited. He has posted a video diary, in which he outlines his plan to commit suicide in exactly one week, accompanied by a choir of ghosts - the internet echoes of teen bullying victims who didn't make it to "it gets better." When Zoe finds Joshua's
    video, she enlists Brittany in a plan to find him and save him. But before they can save Joshua, Zoe and Brittany run into their own problems with bullies.
  • The Present
    TEN MINUTE PLAY: After years on the run, Drew’s best friend Michael wants to celebrate an important birthday, even though they are both very far from home.