I’m very proud to be in the play KEELY AND DU, opening tomorrow night at the Black Cat Cultural Center’s theatre.
I’ve been in a few fluffy, entertaining plays, and those are great fun to do, but my heart is really in difficult plays like this one. KEELY AND DU deftly combines and tackles two very touchy topics, abortion and rape, and turns them into a tale of suspense akin to Stephen King’s MISERY. In a political landscape where a woman’s sovereignty over her own body is actually considered negotiable by some, is it really possible to force a woman to not get an abortion? The character I play, Walter, believes it is not only possible, but necessary; he is the quintessential man who thinks he’s a good guy but is clearly the bad guy because of the lines he’s crossed. He’s a crusader who oversteps boundaries and laws on his quest for what he believes would be a better world. I love portraying characters that reveal the dividing line between right and wrong because by God they are going to try the wrong thing which they think is right. Walter is eloquent and knowledgable, providing very challenging lines to memorize and understand, and often speaking facts and allowing them to carry the weight of his argument.
I’m not sure how many people will turn out to see this sort of mature, intensely intimate and disturbing story, but it’s the perfect vehicle to demonstrate theatre’s ability to showcase a divisive topic and turn it into a genuinely thought-provoking evening of entertainment. We are blessed with a wonderful cast, including Alexandra Empey as Keely, Ramona King as Du (understudied by Gurudarshan), and Jeff Dolececk bending his talent to portray a truly stunning moment in the story. Our Director, Herman Johansen, has been an actor’s dream as a director: focusing tightly on the story while allowing his cast to color it in with our gifts.
The board, staff, and crew of Actors Studio 66 have been completely professional from day one; small theatre can be hit-and-miss in that regard, but this theatre has set a new bar in my experience in terms of competence, skill, and actual practices. I am very thankful for that, and hope Actors Studio 66 sees many more seasons to come.
Other than my appearance for Rogue Machine in Los Angeles in April, this will be my first time on stage as an actor in ten years! More over, it will be the first time any of my New Mexico family and friends have seen me in a role. For those reasons and more, this production will always hold a very special place in my heart. I am a happy actor, and glad to invite folks to our discounted preview evening tonight. The play officially opens tomorrow, Friday June 24, and runs through July 10; 7:30pm show time, 2:00pm on Sundays. Hope to see you there!
At the Black Cat Cultural Center
3011 Monte Vista Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
And a last, best thank you to all our crew: Stage Manager Ricky Fox, Costumer Shaina Hovrud, Sound Designer Casey Mraz, Lighting Designer Tim Wilkins, Set & Props Designer Linda Wilson, and our main man Jeff Jung who handles everything the actors need help with during performance. THANK YOU, EVERYONE.
Ticketing info: https://www.actorsstudio66.org/about-5