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plays by Katy Hickman

Katy Hickman: Full-Length Plays

BRIGHT BOY The Passion of Robert McNamara

Character Breakdown: 4M, 5F

Set/Technical: Needs to be versatile and have a sense of size. Must suggest massive, muddy digging site and Mt. Whitney. Lends itself to special lighting and sound design, as well as abstract set design.
Running Time: Two hours

Production History:


GO! RECOMMENDED - LA Weekly "...takes us into the idiosyncratically brilliant but controversial mind of Robert McNamara (Garrett M. Brown)"

L.A. Weekly, Mayank Keshaviah
>Full Review

LOS ANGELES TIMES "Hickman's play mines still-relevant questions about genius, hubris and social responsibility ... James Eckhouse's stylish staging plays up the more whimsical elements ... in Brown's acerbic yet thoughtful portrayal, [McNamara] comes to question the truth of accusations leveled at him, and the meaning of his life"

Los Angeles Times, Philip Brandes

CRITIC'S PICK - Backstage West "Hickman artfully melds fact and whimsy in a way that is simultaneously satiric, intellectually adroit, and moving ... the writing is strikingly funny, and director James Eckhouse's production is so tight he's able to whip up laughs from situations that are as rich in pathos as they are humor. Performances are top-notch, anchored by Brown's compelling, scenery-chewing turn ... the scenes in which Armstrong's hilariously dysfunctional Vietnam vet hopes for some kind of closure in regards to the war, only to be foiled by McNamara's unabashed lack of guilt, are droll and powerful - a perfect comic turn. Also fine in smaller roles are Walsh's confused campus president and Graham Sibley as McNamara's tightly wound flunky."

Backstage West, Paul Birchall
>Full Review

DAILY BREEZE "Unlike the glut of current heavy-handed antiwar plays, and the one-dimensional satires of President George W. Bush, Hickman doesn't resort to easy answers. Instead, by creating a bizarre fictional world, and tossing McNamara into the eye of that storm, she allows issues to arise without offering solutions. It's a complicated script, which director James Eckhouse and his versatile cast turn into an intriguing two hours ... Brown's impressive performance delivers strong comic moments and quietly tender scenes. Eckhouse's direction allows for the script's comedy to shine by keeping the performances reserved and the pacing fast. Laura Fine's set design, which includes many metal file cabinets and desks covered in vines and grass, echoes the jungles of Vietnam, and how the war that ended 30 years ago still impacts and informs today's geopolitics. McNamara has spent his later years reviewing the country's mistakes. Hickman, through this gentle comedy, argues that if we don't listen, we are doomed to repeat them."

The Daily Breeze, Jeff Favre

REVIEW PLAYS - Never mind the movie "Fog of War", and forget the books that McNamara wrote. If you want the real scoop, this is the place to go! Well, maybe not the real, Real scoop, but enough of it to provide a thoroughly entertaining and fascinating evening of theatre done in the way theatre should be done.

Review Plays
>Full Review

FLAVORPILL Finding similarities between Iraq and Vietnam makes a nice pastime for critics of the current administration, but this allegorical comedic play pushes beyond the easy lure of political outrage. Using Robert McNamara, President Kennedy's Secretary of Defense, as a character, the show explores the choppy waters of paradox in the human heart. - SND, Shana Nys Dambrot
>Full Review

DAILY VARIETY Katy Hickman's new play, "Bright Boy: The Passion of Robert McNamara," tries to capture the man in all his complexities and contradictions. A world premiere production by Ensemble Studio Theater-L.A. works on the level of agitprop polemic; in its manic energy and declamatory Brechtian style, it's reminiscent of an Actors' Gang "whack 'em over the head" staging. While it's rough-edged and riddled with odd moments... "Bright Boy" succeeds in conveying McNamara's technocratic zeal and grandly misconceived ideologies. In Hickman's hands, he personifies the whole schizophrenic decade

Daily Variety, Paul Hodgins
>Full Review




Katy Hickman: One-Act Plays


Set/Technical: Open playing area suggests classroom, music room, library, Leti's apartment.
Running Time: 35 minutes



Katy Hickman: Ten-Minute Plays


or, The Angela Carter Beauty Parlor

Character Breakdown: 2F

Set/Technical: Stylist chair and cart preferred but not necessary. Strange make-up/mask and wig work required.
Running Time: Ten minutes



Character Breakdown: 1M, 1F

Running Time: 1-3 minutes

Production History:



Character Breakdown: 2M

Set/Technical: One set to connote a basement. A couch is helpful.





"Katy Hickman’s “Nomenclature” plants the entire world in a three-tub garden."

LA Weekly, Steven Leigh Morris
>Full Review


Katy Hickman: Plays for Young Audiences


Character Breakdown: 2F

Running Time: Ten minutes

Production History:


Katy Hickman: Plays for Solo Performer


Character Breakdown: 1F

Running Time: One hour, ten minutes


Production History:


"...uneasy and intriguing...Hickman confounds expectations."

Los Angeles Reader - Critic's Choice

"...otherworldly..unexpected...a charming introduction to a writer with a genuinely original eye."

San Francisco Examiner

"...fresh...assured....just hums with irony."

San Jose Mercury News

"Fast, funny, intelligent and wise."

SF Weekly, Mari Coates

"Energetic, buoyant....skillfully rendered."

SF Chronicle

"A serene intelligence...intensely human and hilariously funny."

Madeleine Shaner