Mark Medoff

The Heart Outright

Written by Mark Medoff




The Heart Outright is a full length drama by Mark Medoff. A sequel to this author's renowned success When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? Uniquely constructed, the play is comprised of two related acts, either of which can be presented effectively by itself.

In the first act, subtitled The Dirty Picture Man, Stephen (Red) Ryder, the reluctant nineteen-year-old hero of the original play, is now a twenty-seven-year-old Vietnam veteran who has lost a hand in the war. Part owner and manager of a movie house in Austin, Texas, which has recently begun to show porno films, he recounts, in an engrossing and revealing monologue, the events of his present life — his numbing, sometimes disquieting duties as concessionaire and general factotum in the cinema; his involvement with a local religious cult; and the still lingering doubts about his manhood which have remained with him ever since, eight years earlier, he had found himself thrust, almost accidentally, into the role of a hero.

The second act, subtitled Terminal, takes place four years later, when Stephen returns to his former home in New Mexico to attend his mother's funeral. There he encounters people from his past: his former sweetheart, Angel, once a waitress in the diner where the events of the first play took place; his avaricious, brutal stepfather, Ray, who tries to browbeat him into signing over half of his late mother's property; and a former high school classmate, Dickie, now the night manager of the local bus terminal, who still carries around a newspaper account of Stephen's bravery and secretly wants to challenge him. In the ensuing confrontations, each of these characters reveals more about himself, or herself, than each might have wished, but each in his own way also comes to terms with what he or she has become in the years since the fateful night of terror when the legend of Stephen "Red" Ryder first came into being.




Stephen 'Red' Ryder
Angel Childress
Dickie Turpin
Raymond Fowler



Film adaptation


Full Cast and additional information available at






Mark Medoff Appears in Film Adaptation of Play

Mark Medoff adapted The Heart Outright to film in 2016. The film version featured Brad Makarowski as Stephen, Jessica Medoff as Angel, Josh Rowan as Dickie, and the playwright Mark Medoff as Raymond.

The film was produced by Scary Little Films. It was directed by Ross Kagan Marks with music by Josh Grider.




The Heart Outright Makes its New York City Debut


Medoff's The Heart Outright made its New York City debut on May 11, 1989 at the Theater for the New City. The production was directed by Mike Rutenberg with a set by Peter R. Feuche.

David Andrews returned to his role of Stephan and Kim McCallum returned as Dickie. Anjanette Comer took over the role of Angel, with Kevin O'Connor stepping into the role of Raymond.




The Heart Outright Premieres in New Mexico

The Heart Outright premiered on May 21, 1986 at the New Mexico Repertory Theatre in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a joint production of the New Mexico Repertory Theatre and the American Southwest Theatre Company. The direction was by Mark Medoff, with Jim Billings and costumes by Kathi Mills and Adelina Willem.

The original cast included:

David Andrews (Stephen)
Kim McCallum (Dickie)
Radha Delamarter (Angel)
Anthony DeFont (Raymond)