Broadway is where a playwright can become an actor and save a show

NEW YORK (AP), Keenan Scott II made a Broadway debut in this week's "Thoughts of a Colored Man" which is a significant milestone. This is even more impressive when you consider that he also wrote the play.

Broadway is where a playwright can become an actor and save a show

The actor-turned-playwright was pressed into acting duties at the last moment Tuesday night to keep his show open while all around Broadway battles spikes in COVID-19. He saved at most one performance.

Scott says, "Like every actor, I always wanted to make my Broadway debut in any show that wanted me to act," Scott said. "I didn't know that it would happen this way and on my show in the same season."

But his heroic efforts didn't save the night. Due to rising infections rates, COVID-19 claimed "Thoughts of a Colored Man" late Thursday.

Scott's journey to the stage was chaotic on Tuesday. Scott had just left the theatre and was waiting on a train home to Brooklyn, when producers called him: "Come back to the John Golden Theatre now."

The seven-person cast had been affected by two non-COVID-19 diseases, but an actor was now positive for COVID-19. Scott was being prepared while everyone waited for the PCR results to determine if it was a false negative.

Crew members were putting together a costume and checking Scott's shoe sizes while he was connected to a microphone. Scott was highlighted by a stage manager who printed the script. The second test was positive at 7:55 p.m.

Scott was back on stage five minutes later.

"It was beautiful to be there with my brothers -- now we are all family. And for me to be able save the show that night so that the audience gets what they deserve. They bought tickets. They are traveling to see us. They're also fighting and trying to be safe with the new variant, but still want to support us.

"Thoughts of a Colored Man", a collection of related vignettes, is set in Brooklyn over the course of a single-day. Seven Black men discuss gentrification and violence and what it means being part of a community. A variety of characters, from teens to mid-60s, illustrate specific themes: Wisdom, Anger, and Happiness.

Scott continued as Wisdom, a 65 year-old man. Although he had played various characters in his play at festivals and workshops over the years, he hadn't ever played Wisdom. He was familiar with the cues and blocking, but he had previously trained as an actor. With a script in his hand, he continued.

"That was a challenge, but it was great to be there. Scott says that Scott was the actor who has always wanted to go up there. I didn't have enough time to be nervous or understand what was going on. If I had known the day before, or something similar, I believe there would have been time for my nerves to build.

Numerous Broadway shows including "Hamilton," Alddin," and "Mrs. Doubtfire and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have had to cancel performances due to breakthrough virus cases among their all-vaccinated crews and cast members.

Others who have entered their own Broadway shows include Sara Bareilles in "Waitress", Sting in "The Last Ship", and Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong who made many onstage visits to "American Idiot". But all of them had to prepare for days or weeks.

Scott says, "My wife actually asked me, 'Are your proud of what you did tonight?" Because I was a performer and I know how difficult it can be even after four weeks of rehearsals and being fully prepared." "So to be able do what I did in such a short time -- half a costume, hitting the lights, hitting most of my cues and being able engage with my actors -- was something I was proud of.

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