Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

February 27, 2014

Well-scripted return

Playwright enjoys success with return to the stage

It has all the makings of a good script.

A playwright from Andover picks up the pen after a 35-year hiatus and finds a receptive audience still waiting for him.

It’s based on a true story, too. Just ask theater-goers in the 10 states where Ron Radice’s most recent work has been performed.

At 71, Radice, who put aside his playwriting for more than three decades to raise his family, is now watching his work delight audiences in New York and beyond.

“I stopped writing and you could say I’m back,” said the soft-spoken playwright, who has quietly flown under the radar for years.

His current project, the comic drama “To the Top,” has been on stage for its premiere run this month at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y.

The play is about two vagabonds who meet and become comrades at the foot of a mountain, which they eventually climb. As the pair ascends to the top of the mountain, they come upon a number of eccentric characters who inadvertently teach the duo about themselves and their friendship.

Radice said it’s a scenario that’s familiar for many people: You spend some time really thinking about relationships and you learn a lot.

The play was a finalist in Alleyway’s 2011 New Play competition. One reviewer called the script “very philosophical and funny,” proclaiming “this show should not be missed.”

The accolades are a bit of a time-gone-by part of the playwright’s life. By 1972, Radice already had three plays produced by the New York Theater Ensemble. He had taken courses in theater at Bard College and was living in Woodstock, N.Y. Then, he completely put down the pen.

“I got married, had four kids and knew I had to earn money to take care of my family,” said Radice, who has lived on Elm Street since 1990,

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