April 27, 2022: The Keegan Theatre is pleased to announce the 2022 Boiler Room Series (BRS), a series of presentations and events that take audiences into the world where new plays get made. This season’s Boiler Room Series will include workshops of 6 new plays written by an exciting cohort of playwrights from around the country, and culminate in presentations on the mainstage May 13-22, 2022. To promote accessibility to these electric new works and to provide the BRS playwrights with a rich and valuable audience experience, all tickets are Pay What You Can, but online reservations are strongly encouraged.
Featured works and artists in the 2022 Boiler Room Series include:
THE WILTING POINT
by Graziella Jackson
directed by Danielle Drakes, stage managed by Paige Washington, featuring Brenna Horner, Sofia Colón Roosevelt, Ankur Garg, Bayron Celis, Stan Shulman, and Mary Myers
Mina travels to Sangre de Cristo, Colorado, where she produced the first season of Clime. Tuca is Mayorduomo of one of the last acequia villages in the area, whose life has changed since being featured on Clime. A fourth-generation acequia farmer, her farm, community, and livelihood are threatened by water shortages, caused by climate change. She has been trying to convince her son Udo, who recently returned home from deployment in Syria, to take over the farm and her role as Mayorduomo. If he doesn’t say yes soon, she will sell the farm.
PUSH THE BUTTON*
by Drew Anderson & Dwayne Lawson-Brown
directed by Duane Richards II, stage managed by Sam Linc, featuring Kevin Thorne II, Tre’mon Mills, Ashanti Symone Branch, Gary DuBreuil, Robert Willis, and Mitchell Alexander
PUSH THE BUTTON focuses on the concept of heroism in the context of social justice protests and their aftermath. Drew and Dwayne have always shared an enthusiasm for comic book superheroes, an enthusiasm which has helped them connect with young people in creative experiences. In this new piece, they use superheroes and supervillains to create an environment that presents things in clear binaries — good versus evil, hero versus villain — only to challenge that foundation. What happens when the villain sees the error of their ways? How does the hero react when they don’t get to save the day? Can the community support a villain who renounces villainy? *Appropriate for audiences of all ages, including young people
EN LAS SOMBRAS
by Jordan Ramirez Puckett
directed by Omar D. Cruz, stage managed by Caroline Johnson, featuring Silvia Escobar, Jasmine Cross, Tsaitami Duchicela, Jessica Askey, and Solis Elexy
In EN LAS SOMBRAS, Mari narrates the mythological story of Xenia and Luz, who journey to take the trial of the gods. If successful, they will save their mother and become gods themselves. As the play progresses, there are hints that the world onstage is not exactly as it seems. The first test that the siblings must face is to escape a room made of ice. Then the children must solve a series of seemingly impossible riddles. Finally, they are detained in a room, surrounded by the bones of dead children and simply told to survive. By the end of the play it is made clear that Xenia and Luz are being detained along the U.S./Mexico border and the audience has been seeing the world through their eyes as they try to cope with the horrors of their situation.
by Darren Donohue
directed by Josh Sticklin, featuring Sally Cusenza, DeJeanette Horne, Bianca Lipford, Elizabeth Hoyland, Mike Kozemchak, Sean Laraway, and Patricia Williams-Dugueye
On campus, students are protesting over the unveiling of a controversial sculpture. A meeting is called to try and defuse the situation. But as tempers flare, it becomes clear that when it comes to identity, appearances can be deceiving. Rich in humour, MUSHROOM explores the complex questions surrounding identity politics.
MARJORIE IS DEAD
by Priyanka Shetty
directed by Momo Nakamura, stage managed by Sarah Daniel, featuring Matthew Crawford, Katie Gallagher, Emily Sucher, Greg Strasser, Brendan Kennedy, and Andrew Quilpa
MARJORIE IS DEAD follows the outbreak of a deadly “coroner’s virus” in an unsuspecting British family with convoluted lives and predicaments. The virus is their primary antagonist, yet could also be the only thing that unites them. Written during the global pandemic and inspired by Fry & Laurie and the works of P.G. Wodehouse, Shetty’s command of the seeming lost art of farce is intriguing and impressive. Funny, subversive, current, and yet somehow a throwback at the same time.
STRANGERS WITH BENEFITS*
by Shadia Hafiz
directed by Christina Coakley, featuring Rebecca Ballinger and Jared H. Graham
What happens when a casual encounter turns out to be your sexual soulmate? Jane Doe seeks an anonymous hookup on Craigslist and is shocked to learn his picture is a lie — for the better. Boundaries are set and they embark on an intimate journey, where sex and kink are both cathartic and therapeutic. But can you continue “no strings attached” while enduring the inevitable losses that happen in life? *For mature audiences
The Keegan Theatre is an award-winning theater in the lively Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Its mission is centered on its community of artists, patrons, and supporters: “To take audiences to the vital heart of the theater experience: extraordinary artists in an intimate setting exploring the human condition. To foster connections and positive change in our community through vigorous, inclusive, empowering education and outreach.” The Boiler Room Series is Keegan’s new works-focused initiative which actively seeks artists and projects through international, national, and local searches for new plays and musicals, offers support and a stage for new and unique performances and performers, and works to promote the creative minds that are driving theater in DC and beyond to new and unexpected places.