thoughts of a colored man
WRITTEN by keenan scott II
Directed by sidney Horton
May 3-18, 2024
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Performances will be held at
The Arts Factory at West End Studios
1545 W. Trade St
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New York Times Critics Pick
NOMINEE- 2022 Outer Critics Circle Awards: John Gassner Playwriting Award
Dawn breaks in Brooklyn, and seven black men rise to meet the day. One of them, a finance director, leaves his luxurious condo to jog around their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, just as a grocery-store clerk is starting another soul-crushing shift. At the bus stop, two best friends debate the intricacies of modern dating, while a basketball coach at the youth center grapples with his unrealized potential. At the hospital, a teacher and his father-in-law welcome a new life. And at the barbershop, the whole group meets for cuts and conversation as sparks fly over questions of identity and community.
Thoughts of a Colored Man weaves spoken word, slam poetry and rhythm into a mosaic of the inner lives of Black men. Described as “A New American Play for a New Broadway”, Thoughts of a Colored Man celebrates the hopes, ambitions, joys, and triumphs of Black men in a world that often refuses to hear them.
Thoughts of a Colored Man contains strong adult language, adult themes around race, and descriptions and depictions of anti-Black sentiments and violence. Recommend for ages 16+.
What People Are Saying
Praise from previous productions
“THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN is the most important play of the 21st century!”
“A play of immense compassion and keen insight, with a vise-grip on the dreams and disappointments of its characters, THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN is a paean to life as both survival and celebration, a tribute and exploration of the black men who find beauty, dignity, frustration and inspiration where they can”
“THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN lays essential foundations for embracing the humanity of its subjects, while at the same time longing for a world that obviates its existence.”
New York Stage Review
"There's a palpable urgency to Keenan Scott II's poetic drama… the sort of finger-on-the-pulse work that elicits murmurs of approval from its audience…It's advertising proclaims it to be "A New American Play for a New Broadway," and the tagline doesn't seem like hyperbole."
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Meet the Artists
Keenan Scott II
Keenan Scott II is a playwright, poet, actor, director, and producer of original work from Queens, New York. His work has been workshopped and produced at notable theaters such as National Black Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Arena Stage, and Woolly Mammoth. After years of readings, workshops, and independent shows, ‘Thoughts of a Colored Man’ made its commercial world premiere at Syracuse Stage during their 2019-2020 season and transferred to Baltimore Center Stage to finish its regional run, before settling at the Golden Theater during the 2021-2022 Broadway Season, where he made his writing and unconventional acting debut. Scott was chosen to be a part of the 2021 TED Fellow cohort to be among a global community of artists, inventors, and scientists. His new original musical The Return of Young Boy is currently being developed at New York Stage & Film and he has been commissioned by Broadway Theater 2nd Stage for his new play Heaven is Full, while his other stage plays are in various stages of development. He is also developing an array of projects for television and film, including a pilot with UCP of NBCUniversal and a feature film with Netflix/ Chernin Entertainment.
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African- American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro- American Cultural Center) celebrates the contributions of Africans and African- Americans to American culture and serves as a community epicenter for music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education programs, literature and community outreach.
Racism Shouldn’t Have to Be My Muse
American Theatre Magazine
In this first person piece, playwright Keenan Scott II shares that "Black trauma demands and deserves creative expression, but our lives are about so much more than tragedy."
TED Talk: How poetry unlocked my superpowers
Keenan Scott Il's passion for words, stories and superheroes fueled his journey to becoming a celebrated playwright, producer, director and actor. Showing how language can illuminate the superhero in all of us, Scott performs three spoken word pieces that seamlessly weave together literary devices like simile, assonance and slant rhyme, sharing the talent he's cultivated despite the obstacles (read: kryptonite).