Red Bull Theater presents a virtual reading of Keene by Anchuli Felicia King October 19 at 7:30 PM ET. An ode to always being the second-class genius of color, the play riffs on early-career academia, Shakespeare’s Othello, and the power of American pop.
Directed by Ethan McSweeny, the reading features Grantham Coleman, Paul Gross, Carol Halstead, John Harrell, Chris Johnston, Sam Lilja, Amelia Pedlow, Sam Saint Ours, Sarah Suzuki, and Sara Topham. Keene is presented in association with American Shakespeare Center.
It’s love at first sight for Kai, a Japanese musicologist, when she spies Tyler, the only student of color in his PhD cohort, at a Shakespeare conference. Each night, while Tyler dreams he is the subject of his thesis: Ira Aldridge, the first black man to play Othello, Kai dreams of Tyler. As dreams start to merge with reality, Tyler and Kai are brought closer together. Yet Tyler, like Ira before him, cannot perceive the inevitable betrayal of his closest ally.
An interactive discussion of and its themes takes place October 22 at 7:30 PM with playwright King, director McSweeny, scholar David Sterling Brown, and dramaturg Anne G. Morgan.
The broadcast remains available until October 23 at 7 PM ET. For more information, click here.