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City Theatre presenting premiere of the historical drama Some Brighter Distance


Last updated 1/4/2016 at 6:20pm

The world premiere production of Some Brighter Distance continues the 2015-2016 season at City Theatre on the Mainstage, January 23 – February 14. The play is written by Keith Reddin and directed by City Theatre Artistic Director Tracy Brigden.

Some Brighter Distance examines the events surrounding “Operation Paperclip,” a covert initiative established after World War II by the Truman Administration that relocated more than 1,500 German scientists to the United States to develop weapons and space technology.

During the Cold War, German rocket scientist Arthur Rudolph was instrumental in helping America win the Space Race. Mr. Rudolph’s dark past as a war criminal was uncovered in the 1980s, and, despite four decades of service to the U.S., he and his wife, Marta, were stripped of their citizenship and sent back to Germany in shame. 

Written by award-winning author and City Theatre favorite, Keith Reddin, this time-bending world premiere explores the little known (and true) story of Arthur Rudolph and “Operation Paperclip,” and questions the cost of burying the past in pursuit of the future.

The production also marks an artistic milestone for Mr. Reddin and Ms. Brigden, now in her 15th year as artistic director at City Theatre.

“Keith and I are great friends and longtime collaborators,” said Ms. Brigden. “Some Brighter Distance will be our third world premiere. The play is a brilliant and theatrical depiction of a complicated aspect of this country’s history that resonates through the years to reflect on the challenges of today’s global power struggles. I am very excited to dive in to the work on the full production, after two years of readings, workshops, and development at City.”

Keith Reddin is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Yale Drama School. His plays include Too Much Memory, which won the 2008 Outstanding Play Award in the New York Fringe Festival and was revived at New York Theatre Workshop in December 2008; Life and Limb, Rum and Coke, Human Error, and The Missionary Position. Mr. Reddin recently adapted Rear Window for a production at Hartford Stage, directed by Terry Kinney and starring Kevin Bacon.

Some Brighter Distance features Jonathan Tindle as German scientist Arthur Rudolph, LeRoy McClain as Davis, Elizabeth Rich as Marta Rudolph, and David Whalen as Von Braun. Bishop Canevin High School and Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Matthew Stocke plays Turner.

Some Brighter Distance received a staged readings and literary development through City Theatre’s new play festival, Momentum: New Plays at Different Stages. The world premiere production is supported in part by the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and an award from the National Endowment of the Arts. It is additionally funded in part by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project.

City Theatre is partnering with the Carnegie Science Center and Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures to encourage audiences to dive deeper into the text and context of Some Brighter Distance. Join City Theatre staff at the Carnegie Science Center for 21+ Rocket Science on Friday, Jan. 15, from 6-10 p.m. Design a rocket, enjoy snacks and cocktails, and get a sneak peek of the play as scenes are performed live under the stars in the Buhl Planetarium. Tickets are $10 and available on the Carnegie Science Center website at

Playwright Keith Reddin will speak about his process as a writer for the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures’ event Writers Live @ CLP – Main on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in the second floor International Poetry Room. The event is free, but registration is requested and available through the organiations’ website at:

Tickets are available at the City Theatre Box Office, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side) or by calling 412-431-CITY (2489). For more information, visit


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