A playwright from New York City will conduct a free and open-to-the-public community discussion at Kalamazoo College days before his latest show, Blacks+Phats, is presented at K’s Festival Playhouse.
Kevin Renn will discuss his experiences as a Black playwright at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, 205 Monroe St. Renn is known for productions such as Showcase: A Musical Rehearsal, which details a challenging final practice session for a group of theatre students the night before a performance; Mulatto Boy, about the only student of color at a private school where he runs for student body president; and Jungle Juice, addressing six friends who celebrate their college graduation and end up confronting their uncertain futures and a troubling secret.
Blacks+Phats uses characters such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Black Panther Party and Michael Jackson to take a satirical look at Black cultural issues, body image, fetishism and their representation in modern society. The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 24–Saturday, February 26; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 27, at the Festival Playhouse, 129 Thompson St.
Tickets for Blacks+Phats are available through the Festival Playhouse online box office. Adults are $15, seniors $10 and students $5. K students, faculty and staff are admitted for free. The Thursday production includes a talkback session with Renn and Director Janai Lashon. Please note the play includes potentially triggering references to sexual assault and eating disorders, and masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccinations are required for admittance to the theatre.
For more information on the play and the Festival Playhouse, visit its website at festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu.