Randall Colburn

Plays written by Randall Colburn



Blessed Assurance – (5M 1W) John Wilkes Booths death in a burning barn came courtesy of Boston Corbett, a mercury-addled, born-again Christian who claimed he was ordered by the Almighty to pull the trigger. But when a young lawyer suggests that Booth may be living in Texas, and that the victim was a stranger, Boston’s divine mandate is called into question.

Burn Girl Prom Queen – (4M 2W) Prom is right around the corner in Houghton Lake, a dying resort town in Central Michigan. Jo is about to be crowned Queen. She’s also expecting a baby. She’s also way too young for this shit. A nostalgic exploration of youth and small-town royalty, wherein idols are shattered and archetypes stripped bare.

Hesperia – (3M 2W) When Claudia left Ian and her old life in adult entertainment to return to her small-town roots, she found more than just a new start—she met her soon-to-be husband Trevor, the local youth minister and a man of god. But when Ian shows up on her doorstep just weeks before her wedding, their past together comes roaring back to life bringing doubts to Claudias now moral and well-ordered existence. In this honest exploration, playwright Randall Colburn brings an original voice to the complicated topics of love, sexuality and religion.

Lamp & Moth – (6M 2W) Over a single night, a squalid Detroit diner finds a born again missionary, a peep show girl, and a haunted night dweller caught up in the noirish plot of a desperate vigilante.

Let It Sleep – (2M, 2F) Summer, 1980. Ezra and Joy are 15, rehearsing a sketch about abstinence for a Christian youth festival. She’s a lifelong believer; he’s a recent convert, having been lured to faith after enduring a highly publicized scandal. Over a single night, issues of teenage spirituality and sexuality clash and coalesce, resulting in a push-and-pull that haunts them far into adulthood.

Pretty Penny – (4M 2W) The story of Victoria, who is trying to make a little extra money by working as a phone sex operator, using the name Penny as her alter-ego when on a call. The pictures of Penny that clients see are actually old photos of Crystal, taken by her former boyfriend who now runs the sex service. Victoria, Crystal and the men in their lives get caught up in a whirlwind of self-discovery in Randall Colburn’s unflinching exploration of perception and perversion.

And He Flew Over the Forest – (4W 3M) During what could be her family’s last trip together, a young girl returns to a world of her own creation. While her family crumbles around her, Leah seeks solace in her imaginary universe only to discover that it too is collapsing. Creatures are leaving the forest, old friends are changing, and she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. The Great Nothing is coming and Leah must face it alone. Divided between two worlds, she must decide where she belongs.


Randall Colburn, a Detroit native currently living in Chicago, has seen his plays produced at such theaters as Writers’ Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, InFusion Theatre Company, The Mammals Theatre Company, and The Right Brain Project, who dedicated their 2010 season to his work. His play, Verse Chorus Verse opened in New York at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre with Barefoot Theatre Company in November of 2011 after a successful run with Chicago’s Tympanic Theatre Company that previous spring. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Illinois Arts Council and a former finalist for the 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Alliance’s 2009 Kendeda Graduate Playwright Competition and the 2009 New York Summer Play Fest. Colburn has been commissioned by InFusion Theatre Company and Writers’ Theatre and has developed plays with companies including the Public Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Stage Left Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists, where he is also a resident playwright. This past April, his dark comedy The Improv Play opened to critical acclaim with InFusion Theatre Company as part of the Department of Cultural Affair’s 2011-2012 season, and this fall he’ll premiere Frank Loves Marie, a co-authored play, with the Mammals Theatre Company. Colburn was recently named “One to Watch” by the Chicago Reader. A bad movie scholar, Randall was also featured in the hit documentary, Best Worst Movie. He received his MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.


* Please note that some titles are handled by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, Broadway Play Publishing, and Playscripts.com.  Please ask if you don’t see a particular play.