Keegan Theatre Announces Cast and Team for “N”

N by Adrienne Earle Pender. Photo: Mike Kozemchak
Regional Premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender’s play “N” opens October 23

September 21, 2021: The Keegan Theatre is pleased to announce the cast and team of Adrienne Earle Pender’s powerful historical drama, N, making its Regional Premiere as the second production of Keegan’s 25th Anniversary Season.

“One hundred years ago, prolific American playwright Eugene O’Neill’s expressionistic work The Emperor Jones caused a flurry in the theatre scene and launched actor Charles S. Gilpin to stardom,” production director Nadia Guevara describes. “He made a splash as the first African American actor on Broadway as Brutus Jones in The Emperor Jones – a role that broke him out of the stereotypes of the time, while also still trapping him in cliches and, much to his torment, the repeated use of the N-word.

“Adrienne Pender, playwright and descendant of Charles Gilpin,” Guevara continues, “gives us a glimpse of what the dynamic between this prolific playwright and singular actor could have been, while giving us, theatre-makers and theatre-lovers, the opportunity to interrogate our theatrical inheritance and think about our legacies. What is your legacy? When do we speak up? What is the cost of doing so? Join us for this tennis match of a play.”

The cast of N features Kevin Thorne (Charles), Lolita Marie (Florence), and Jared Graham (Eugene). N is directed by Nadia Guevara. The artistic team includes Paris Francesca (Costume Designer), Venus Gulbranson (Lighting Designer), Solomon HaileSelassie (Stage Manager), Cresent Haynes (Sound Designer), Cindy Landrum Jacobs (Set Dressing and Properties Designer), Matthew J. Keenan (Set Designer and Master Carpenter), Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zoe (Dramaturg), and Colin Smith (Production Manager).

N runs from October 23 – November 20, 2021, and the run includes two special audience engagement events. Following the matinee on Sunday, November 7, audiences are invited to a special moderated talkback with members of the cast and creative team. Then, following the matinee on Sunday November 14, the Challenging Racism team will facilitate a special post-show discussion around “The Intersection of Race & Theater/Art,” specifically curated to build on the themes presented in N and enrich the audience experience of the play. Challenging Racism is an Arlington organization that provides education on the prevalence and inequities of institutional and systemic racism, and Keegan is honored to be partnering with them all season to enrich both artist and audience experiences with Keegan productions throughout the 2021-2022 season. Learn more about Keegan’s audience engagement events online or at the theater — audience education and outreach materials will be available online and in the lobby during the run of the show.