A Q&A with Keegan Theatre, a recipient of the Events DC Community Grant Program.
What was it like in the beginning? I started Keegan with three other founding members in 1996 and we were producing half as many productions without a permanent space. We paid artists what we could – which wasn't much – and we didn’t have a paid staff.
What were the major challenges you faced when you first started? The biggest challenge we faced were because we were nomadic -- we were bouncing around from venue to venue between Virginia and DC. I didn't have a staff to work with, and we didn't have funding.
What programs do you offer for youth? We offer summer camps, day camps, after-school programming in partnership with elementary schools, weekend workshops for teens, and weekly story times in partnership with Politics and Prose. We produce productions with a few partners, we have an internship, apprenticeship, and fellowship program for pre- and early professionals, and we offer professional productions for families and school group matinees.
Why did you start offering programs for youth? We always wanted to have a youth program, but we didn't have the staff support or the space, so when we re-opened our theatre in 2015 after the renovations, it seemed the right time to start our education department.
How can youth get involved with your programs? Families can visit our website at https://keegantheatre.com/playrahka/ to see all of our offerings and to find out how to reach us.
What’s the biggest challenge you face today? The challenges we faced before seem to continue to be challenges, but in new ways. We now own our recently renovated space and have full-time staff members, but with these wonderful things comes additional expenses.
What are you most excited about when you think about the future of the theatre? Continuing to increase our accessibility for all artists and audiences by telling stories from a diverse perspective on stage that explore our connecting human conditions, and to grow our youth programs and develop new works that support this mission.