Lead With Love: Keenan Scott II

Playwright, poet, actor, director and producer Keenan Scott II pivots into Broadway success. Photography and interview by Cathrine White
Scott’s literary influences include Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes. Photography by Cathrine White

His critically acclaimed Thoughts of a Colored Man was a sold-out show during its run at the Golden Theatre during the 2021-2022 season. Keenan Scott II is currently developing a pilot with UPC of NBC Universal, and adapting a novel by JJ Bola called The Selfless Act of Breathing with Brom Studios.

Cathrine White: Congratulations on Thoughts of a Colored Man. What were some of the lessons you walked away with?

Keenan Scott II: I learned a lot of lessons. But especially through this season, and coming out of a pandemic, I learned more that you must be ready to pivot. Make plans, but also be ready to make counterplans at the drop of a dime.

CW: What was your goal with the show?

KS: My goal was to build as much empathy as possible in the audience. Most importantly, I wanted Black men to feel empowered by seeing themselves portrayed in a truthful, authentic way. I felt a burning desire to been seen on stage. I wanted to see a contemporary story that represented myself and my community. And since I didn’t see it, I wrote it. My love of storytelling started on the pages of my comic books. Writing for me began as an escape that blossomed into an art form I loved.

CW: How do you stay grounded in these uncertain times?

KS: I try to live in the present. The “now” is the only thing that is real, and for me that is my family. I lean into that. In my house, I’m just Keenan. I’m a husband and a father. That’s what keeps me grounded the most.