Playwright Jeffrey James Keyes reads excerpt from ‘Isle Royale’ for Pride Pieces festival

Playwright and Bear World Magazine contributor Jeffrey James Keyes recently presented a short excerpt of his play Isle Royale as part of the digital initiative, Pride Pieces – an Instagram series showcasing excerpts from 34 works submitted to the 2020 Pride Plays festival. 

Isle Royale is about a group of friends who go on a backpacking trip the summer after their senior year of high school. The play is a haunting and personal play about brotherhood. Part ghost story and part coming of age tale, Isle Royale is an investigation of what lies beneath the surface. The wilderness has no rules.

Something happens when you go out into the woods. We’re meant to be out there, in the wilderness, you know? Things have gotten so complicated with people, sitting in desks, pushing numbers, pressing buttons, answering phones. We’re supposed to be outside, swimming in water, climbing trees, & hunting for our food.

Nick from Isle Royale

Readings of Isle Royale were previously presented at Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles and at the Boomerang Theatre’s first Light Festival in New York City. After putting the script down for a while, Jeffrey decided to revisit it last year by revising and resubmitting it to various festivals. 

“It was like revisiting an old friend or relative after being out of touch for a few years, and having a beer with them on the back porch while catching up,” he says.

Pride Plays is a free livestream theatrical event in which four plays from the LGBTQIA+ theatrical canon were chosen to be presented every Friday in June. A free, publicly available celebration Pride Spectacular Concert on the evening of Pride Sunday, June 28 was also presented. The events benefitted Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

For more information about Pride Plays, visit rattlestick.org/20192020-season/2020/6/25/pride-plays

Watch the excerpt from Isle Royale below, and visit Jeffrey James Keyes’ website for more information about his work!

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.