Keegan Theatre returns to mainstage programming with a pair of productions streaming live in rep November 12 to 29, 2020. Performed from the Keegan stage, the fall repertory includes the world premiere of Trans Am, a new rock musical by Lisa Stephen Friday, and a new “unfiltered” version of the Helen Hayes Awards nominee and Charm City Fringe winner, From Gumbo to Mumbo, by Drew Anderson and Dwayne Lawson-Brown.
Trans Am explores the most complex and personal parts of the human experience, through the lens of Lisa Stephen Friday. With stories and songs, Lisa shares her own trans journey as a means of understanding our common human desire for self-actualization and respect while calling out the absurdity of a world obsessed with otherness. An irreverent new one-woman autobiography, Trans Am features the music of cult-favorite NYC glam rock band Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday and is directed by Broadway’s Fred Berman. Trans Am is sponsored by the Capital Pride Alliance, a nonprofit DC organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity.
From Gumbo to Mumbo features a New Orleanian science teacher turned rhyme speaker (Drew Anderson) and a dreadlock-rocking Southeast DC b-boy (Dwayne Lawson-Brown) who together conjure a dynamic cauldron of hip hop, poetry, and theater. They dig into what it means to be authentic, question the culture and politics of today, and ultimately celebrate love and the search for home. Nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for its world premiere at Keegan in DC and named “Best of Fringe” at the Charm City Fringe Festival in Baltimore, From Gumbo to Mumbo is directed in this fall’s production by Duane Richards II and features new material that responds to our modern moment and resonates with a worldwide audience.
Tickets to view both productions are now available online.
“At this particular moment in time, which is marked by a call to reflect and respond — not only to a worldwide pandemic, but also to a rightful reckoning about diversity and inclusion — it is our hope that presenting these two live streamed plays from our home theater will remind us of the potency of live performance and human connection,” says Keegan Theatre artistic director Susan Marie Rhea. “Lisa Stephen Friday, Drew Anderson, and Dwayne Lawson-Brown are extraordinary artists with fascinating stories to tell, stories that speak powerfully to what it means to be human and to the importance of amplifying the voices of those often unheard. It’s an honor and a thrill to present these works to our audiences, and we hope this creates a compelling opportunity for us all to connect and grow, celebrating these remarkable artists and the power of live theatre.”
Trans Am and From Gumbo to Mumbo will be fully produced as mainstage shows and performed and streamed live from the Keegan Theatre stage, building on and expanding the format of virtual summer programming from Keegan’s Boiler Room Series, BRS LIVE. This innovative approach to theater-making combines the excitement and immediacy of live performance with the necessary safety of distancing for artists and audiences.
“Rather than pre-recording and editing a final product,” Rhea explains, “we want to give audiences the closest thing to a live, in-house Keegan Theatre experience that we can, while respecting the current moment and the safety required for our artists and audiences. We believe that watching a show unfold in real time will help connect audiences to the actors in a way that so many are craving right now, during this COVID moment for the arts.”
Thursday, Nov 12 at 8pm – TRANS AM
Friday, Nov 13 at 7:30pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Friday, Nov 13 at 10pm – TRANS AM
Saturday, Nov 14 at 7:30pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Saturday, Nov 14 at 10pm – TRANS AM
Sunday, Nov 15 at 3pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Sunday, Nov 15 at 7pm – TRANS AM
Thursday, Nov 19 at 8pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Friday, Nov 20 at 7:30pm – TRANS AM
Friday, Nov 20 at 10pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Saturday, Nov 21 at 7:30pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Saturday, Nov 21 at 10pm – TRANS AM
Sunday, Nov 22 at 3pm – TRANS AM
Sunday, Nov 22 at 7pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Friday, Nov 27 at 7:30pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Friday, Nov 27 at 10pm – TRANS AM
Saturday, Nov 28 at 7:30pm – TRANS AM
Saturday, Nov 28 at 10pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Sunday, Nov 29 at 3pm – FROM GUMBO TO MUMBO
Sunday, Nov 29 at 7pm – TRANS AM
About Keegan Theatre
The award-winning Keegan Theatre, now in its 24th season of performing powerful productions of classic and modern plays and musicals in Washington, DC, is fueled by the highest caliber acting and design, scripts that put real people out there on the stark edges of life, and a directing approach that honors clear, authentic storytelling. Together with its brands for new works and unique performances, The Boiler Room Series, and for young people and families, Keegan PLAY-RAH-KA, The Keegan Theatre is one of Washington, DC’s premier centers for the arts. More at www.keegantheatre.com.