Those the River Keeps

by  David Rabe

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 2f

"A two-fisted [...] riveting piece of theatre." - The Boston Globe

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Those the River Keeps

by  David Rabe

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Phil, a supporting character in the author’s Hurlyburly, takes center stage in this haunting drama about trying to escape the past. A former mob hitman, Phil is in Hollywood trying to make it as a television actor. He’s had a few bit parts, but is hardly a success, and he is largely supported by his wife, Susie, a waitress. Unfortunately, Susie desperately wants something in return, something Phil is not prepared or eager to give: a child. Phil is going nowhere fast when Sal, a mysterious man from his past, appears and offers him the chance to return to an exciting life of crime. Sal is in town to hit a guy, and he wants Phil to be his partner. To Sal, Phil has become a “mook,” a nobody. Phil is tempted with this opportunity to redeem himself as a man.
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"Commands attention." - New York Post

"A two-fisted [...] riveting piece of theatre." - The Boston Globe


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Phil and Susie's rented house in the Hollywood Hills.


2m, 2f
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David Rabe

David Rabe

Those the River Keeps premiered at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ in February 1991 under the direction of David Rabe.

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