BOY by Anna Ziegler. directed by Susan Marie Rhea | Photo: Cameron Whitman Photography

Washington Blade: BOY

Keegan’s BOY is gut-wrenching coming-of-age tale

Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a searing story of sex and gender. Currently making its Washington-area premiere at Keegan Theatre, the prolific playwright’s 2015 work unblinkingly explores the pain and struggle that results when gender is imposed regardless of what the person feels he/she/they are.

With the help of Jeremy Bennett’s projections, the play moves lucidly back and forth from Adam’s childhood to early adulthood, spanning the 1960s through 1990. For the protagonist, it’s a tortuous, confusing journey.

As Adam, [John] Jones, a senior at Catholic University, makes an auspicious professional debut. On press night, they warmed up as the 90-minute play progressed, revealing an increasingly spontaneous handle on their complex character. Without costume or baby talk, the actor subtly employs posture and pitch to transform from petulant young girl to angry young man. And [Lida Maria] Benson is refreshingly natural as bubbly, generous Jenny, a young single mother. It’s a delightfully nuanced performance.

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