Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT

Turn Me Loose

September 6  —  October 14, 2018

By Gretchen Law
Directed by John Gould Rubin
In association with John Legend, Get Lifted Film Company,
Mike Jackson, The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation,
Beth Hubbard, The Private Theatre, Eric Falkenstein,
SimonSays Entertainment, Jamie Cesa, Jana Babatunde-Bey

Kreeger Theater

This intimate and no-holds-barred drama chronicles Dick Gregory’s rise as the first Black comedian to expose audiences to racial comedy. His comedy spared no one including politicians, celebrities and the white supremacists who were part of his regular audience. In confronting bigotry head-on with biting humor and charm, Gregory turned his activism into an art form, risking his own safety at each performance. “Scorchingly funny and brilliant” (New York Times), Turn Me Loose is an exuberant and raw tribute to Gregory’s life as a civil rights activist, comic genius and unapologetic provocateur.

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Illustration by Charles Chaisson

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GRETCHEN LAW (Playwright) is the author of five full-length plays: The Adventures of A Black Girl In Search Of Her God was adapted from a Bernard Shaw story of the same title and has been approved for production by The Society of Authors; Al Sharpton for President was a semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference 2006; Turn Me Loose was workshopped by Atlantic Theater Company, New York Stage and Film and at New York Theatre Workshop; additionally, History Lessons and Loving Charley Pride, have been read at the National Black Theater Festival, The Players, The National Arts Club, the Harlem Theater Company, the LAByrinth Theater Company and The Dramatist Guild, of which she is a member. She is a longtime member of the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop. Gretchen is a practicing psychotherapist with degrees from Yale Divinity School and the Columbia University School of Social Work. In 1991, she founded the Parents’ Foundation, 100 Broadway, in New Haven, CT, a residential community for adults with psychiatric illnesses. She resides in Guilford, CT.

JOHN GOULD RUBIN (Director) is Artistic Director of The Private Theatre, for which he mounted a site-specific production of Hedda Gabler, and Strindberg’s Playing with Fire (at the notorious burlesque house, The Box.) He was co-Artistic and Executive Director of LAByrinth Theater Company, for which he directed eight productions (including premieres by John Patrick Shanley and Erin Cressida Wilson), and produced Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and Our Lady of 121st Street. Other recent work includes Mother Courage (Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater); Michael Ricigliano’s Queen For A Day (Off-Broadway); The Cherry Orchard with Ellen Burstyn (The Actor’s Studio); and Peer Gynt centered on wheel-chair-using actor Neil Hancock (The International Ibsen Festival in Oslo, Norway). Next season he will be represented by Mr. Ricigliano’s new play Phelan House; three new works one on the political polarization of America, another on the unique life of Sargent Shriver and a third on the idiosyncratic career of Erik Satie; and an Afro-German production of Hedda Gabler in Berlin.

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Turn Me Loose

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Lauren Alexander