Newspaper illustration of 1886 Haymarket Bombing in Chicago

Ragged Dick

Neal Bell, adapted from the novel by Horatio Alger

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Journalist Dick Hunter sets out to document the slums of 1890's New York where he discovers harrowing conditions of poverty and abuse.

Production Info

Cast: 9 total (3 female, 6 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
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Press Quotes

“Neal Bell’s play RAGGED DICK is a lurid, poetic and often fascinating study of sex, politics and poverty. … Bell’s landscape painting of urban poverty does not take the form of any ordinary docudrama. Rather, it offers a caustic, stylized impressionistic vision — a kind of film noir for the pre-ragtime era reminiscent of novelist E L Doctorow’s work … In RAGGED DICK, Bell looks straight in the eye of everything that can breed in a slum: venereal disease, ravaged babies, corrupt and brutal cops, child abuse, warped sex and shattered souls of all descriptions. And he describes it all in startlingly original terms.” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author


  • Neal Bell

    Neal Bell's plays, including SPATTER PATTERN (Edgar Award), MONSTER, TWO SMALL BODIES, RAW YOUTH, COLD SWEAT, READY FOR THE RIVER, SLEEPING DOGS, RAGGED DICK, ON THE BUM, and SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC, have appeared at Playwrights Horizons and Classic Stage Company in New York, and at regional theaters including Berkeley Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and Actors Theater of Louisville, where his ten-minute play OUT THE WINDOW was a co-winner of the 1990 Heideman Award. Mr. Bell has been a playwright-in-residence at the Yale School of Drama, and has taught playwriting at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and the 42nd Street Collective. He is currently a member of the Theater Department faculty at Duke University. A recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment and the Guggenheim Foundation, Mr. Bell was awarded an Obie Award in 1992 for sustained achievement in playwriting.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 1/18/2017
Pages 116
ISBN 9780881456998

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by The Immediate Theater Company, Chicago

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Ragged Dick is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC