Dennis J. Reardon

Dennis J. Reardon

Professor Emeritus, Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance


  • Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center -
  • Office Hours
    By Appointment Only


  • D.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1990
  • B.A., University of Kansas, 1966


Appointed to IU in 1987

Dennis J. Reardon’s first play, The Happiness Cage, had the honor of being the inaugural production in Joseph Papp’s Newman Theater, flagship venue for the complex now known as the Joseph Papp Public Theater. That widely-acclaimed play went on to receive productions in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Johannesburg and was made into a film starring Christopher Walken. Mr. Papp subsequently produced Reardon’s Siamese Connections and The Leaf People, the latter premiering at Broadway’s Booth Theater under the direction of Tom O’Horgan. Reardon’s Steeple Jack won the National Play Award from both the National Repertory Theater Foundation and the Weissberger Foundation, and his comic drama, The Peer Panel, won the Theatre Memphis triennial National Playwriting Competition.

He has been the recipient of a New York Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) Award for Unauthorized Entries, the Indiana Arts Commission Master Fellowship for Boone Descended, a Shubert Fellowship in Playwriting for The Happiness Cage, the Avery Hopwood Award for Siamese Connections, and a two-year Playwriting Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His ten-minute play, Subterranean Homesick Blues Again, has been produced throughout both America and Europe since premiering at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The collection PLAYS by Dennis J. Reardon (Broadway Play Publishing) came out in 2001 and includes Steeple Jack, The Peer Panel, and The Misadventures of Cynthia M. His most recent play, Last Days of The High Flier, received its premiere from Indiana University in February 2004 and is also available through Broadway Play Publishing. Reardon has served as the Head of the Playwriting Program at Indiana University since 1987.