This is real. Everything here is real.


As assistant to the celebrity pastor of an evangelical mega church, Arthur obeys orders, attacks paperwork, and guards against sin. So Arthur is surprised when the church pastor commissions a mural from Irene Hoff, an atheist New York artist married to another woman. Arthur is even more surprised when the pastor explains that he believes Irene has been chosen by God. But the biggest surprise of all is what happens when Irene shows up and starts to paint.
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"Penny Penniston has been writing plays in Chicago for two decades now… over the years she has been synonymous with intelligent, inquisitive scripts… Penniston makes plays well — in that they are carefully structured, really thoughtful dramas."

--Chris Jones

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"Penny Penniston’s culture-clash comedy treats all of its characters with humanity."

--Chris Vire

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CRITIC'S PICK. "Penniston never allows her discussion to slide into amen-snorting caricature, nor do director Greg Werstler or his all-star ensemble of actors ever permit their portrayals to stray from respect for their characters' integrity… making for lively theological debate to engage playgoers of all creeds."
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"Penniston’s writing is accessible and honest."
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"Penny Penniston has penned a terrific 'must see' play that contains some interesting twists on Evangelical Christian beliefs and practices, questioning the role of God acting through ministers and common folk… a thought­ provoking parable that sets up a possibly explosive religious conflict but cleverly trumps all zealotry with basic humanity."

--Tom Williams

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"Evangelicals rarely come across well in new Chicago plays. So it's to Penniston's credit that Ed feels like a genuinely open-minded fellow, a man who seems interested in the collision of opposites as a possible space for godly works."

--Chris Jones

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"Wow, is this a play that gets the audience to think while entertaining and educating… there are surprises and revelations that await for all to ponder as the audience leaves the theater and faces the real world of sin, salvation and uncertainty."

--Phil Potempa

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Production Requirements

Evangelical Mega-Church, Present Day
Run Time

2 Hours
Characters (2 men; 3 women)

JOANN - Female 40-45

ARTHUR - Male 33-40

ED - Male 50-70

PAIGE - Female 30-40

IRENE - Female 30-40
Enter the name for this tabbed section: About the Play
Keys of the Kingdom was workshopped with Leapfest (produced by Stage Left Theater), and with JAW: A Playwright's Festival (produced by Portland Center Stage). It had its world premiere with Stage Left Theater and Theater Wit in Chicago in January of 2015. The original cast and creative contributors were:

BRIAN PLOCHARCZYK (Arthur); KATHRYNNE WOLF (Joann); DON BENDER (Ed); MCKENZIE CHINN (Paige); KATE BLACK-SPENCE (Irene); GREG WERSTLER (Director); REBECCA BLACKMORE (Stage Manager); ANDREW HILDNER (Scenic Designer); JOHN KOHN III (Lighting Designer); BRENDA WINSTEAD (Costume Designer); CASSY SCHILLO (Properties Designer); ADAM SMITH (Sound Designer)
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