Keelay Gipson

Keelay Gipson

Keelay Gipson is an Activist, Teaching Artist, and Award-winning Playwright whose plays include #NewSlaves (Finalist; The O’Neill, Seven Devils Playwright Conference), CRH, or the placenta play (AADA Main Stage Live!, Semi-Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages). He is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as...
Keelay Gipson is an Activist, Teaching Artist, and Award-winning Playwright whose plays include #NewSlaves (Finalist; The O’Neill, Seven Devils Playwright Conference), CRH, or the placenta play (AADA Main Stage Live!, Semi-Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages). He is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73, Dramatist Guild Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York as well as an upcoming residency at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Season at Vassar this summer. His work has been seen/developed at HERE Arts Center, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Plays

  • #NewSlaves
    A fantasia on the criminalization and commodification of the Black Body in America, the show follows three black men from slavery to now, using the NFL Draft as a jumping off point.
  • imagine sisyphus happy
    There is no sun without shadow,
    We must know the night.
    The night is where Sisyphus keeps his joy.
    He no longer owns his plight.

    His fate is what belongs to him.
    His rock is just a thing.
    Likewise, Man silences his idols.
    When he embraces pain.

    Leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain!
    Leave Sisyphus to his rock!
    The...
    There is no sun without shadow,
    We must know the night.
    The night is where Sisyphus keeps his joy.
    He no longer owns his plight.

    His fate is what belongs to him.
    His rock is just a thing.
    Likewise, Man silences his idols.
    When he embraces pain.

    Leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain!
    Leave Sisyphus to his rock!
    The struggle is enough,
    To fill a man's empty heart.

    One must imagine Sisyphus happy,
    When building a life in Art.
    One must imagine Sisyphus happy,
    For their love of that life to start.
  • CRH (or, the placenta play)
    A group of thirty-somethings reunite after life puts a damper on their social lives. What happens next, may give them a case of indigestion. This dark comedy is a mediation on what it means to be a member of The Mooching Class amidst the Age of Trump, technology, and student loans.
  • What I Tell You in the Dark
    Told in two parts, What I Tell You in the Dark is an exploration of how much one is willing to share and the consequences, unforeseen, that public self-discovery may have for others in the long run. In part one, told as a folktale, a pre-adolescent city boy is shipped off to his Southern relatives for the summer. He gets schooled in the way of "growing up Southern" by his Auntie, his Aunt and his...
    Told in two parts, What I Tell You in the Dark is an exploration of how much one is willing to share and the consequences, unforeseen, that public self-discovery may have for others in the long run. In part one, told as a folktale, a pre-adolescent city boy is shipped off to his Southern relatives for the summer. He gets schooled in the way of "growing up Southern" by his Auntie, his Aunt and his cousin. While there, he learns more about himself than he bargained for and his family, mainly his cousin, leave an indelible mark on him that he takes with him into adulthood.
    In part two, our protagonist returns to his Auntie's house after the success of a book based on that summer (Part One). The unexpected passing of his Aunt causes him to confront the memories that have become the basis of his success and the people he included in his retelling of his experiences. With his boyfriend there as support, he attempts to navigate a rift in his relationship with his cousin who views his lack of attendance at her mother's funeral as more of a slight than a sign of respect.