New Works Incubator Project at Frostburg State University Features Original Play by Alum Keenan Scott II

Nov 6, 2020 2:40 PM

This November, the Frostburg State University Department of Theatre and Dance will feature a new play by theatre alum Keenan Scott II. As part of the New Works Incubator Project, Scott will develop his script with six FSU actors over a two-week period, culminating in a virtual reading for an online audience. Information about dates and attendance of the virtual reading will be shared later.

The New Works Incubator Project, an original idea brought to FSU by Scott, is designed to help professional writers develop new works while giving FSU students industry-level training in new-works development.

The play challenges the online experience with comedic twists by taking on the psychological effects of social media, over sensationalism, and classism. The play, titled “Social Media Massacre,” features Hemsley and his best friend Jebediah, teenage prodigies who create an all-too-invasive app that rewards the capture of violence. The more violence a person captures, the higher their status rises in society. Soon, people find themselves in a world where segregation is again all too present, creating new factions between ranked and unranked people. But Ocean, a recent college graduate, is on a quest to take it all down.

Scott, from Queens, New York, is a playwright, poet, actor, director and producer of original work that has been produced at Howard University, Gala Hispanic Theatre, National Black Theater and the NYC Fringe Festival. His critically acclaimed piece, “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” had its World Premiere at Syracuse Stage for the 2019-2020 season and is now on its way to Broadway when it returns in 2021. He has also been commissioned for several pieces, including the “PLAY AT HOME” series curated by Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. In addition, his piece “Hashtag Me Not” was featured in a benefit for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., called “#WhileWeBreathe.” His latest work, “The Migration LP,” is being developed at New York Stage and Film with sights on a New York City premiere in 2021. He is also developing a series for TV titled “The New Reform.” For more information, visit the Keenan Scott web site.

Featured actors in “Social Media Massacre” include Zoie Collins (Ocean), Christian Scott (Jude), Brendon McCabe (Helmsley), Gershawn Mason (Jebediah), Brian Records (Fraser), Dominique Little (Debbie), Kasey Taylor (Mayah Lee) and Laura Frederick (Miss Ladi/News Anchor/Announcer). Creative team members include Scott (playwright/director), Nicole Mattis (project manager), George Georgeson (lighting/sound), Danielle Preston (costumes), Nicholas Partonen (stage manager), Grace LaCount (assistant stage manager/script) and Kassidy Andris (assistant stage manager).

“Social Media Massacre” is produced with generous partnership and support from the FSU Foundation Opportunity Grant program; University Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; African American Studies; Department of Communication; and the Cultural Events Series. For more information, call FSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance at 301-687-7794.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit the Frostburg State web site or the FSU Facebook page. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.