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A Play about Comic Genius Dick Gregory

Turn Me Loose

  • Credits

    Playwright
    Gretchen Law

    Director
    John Gould Rubin

  • Location

    The Kreeger Theater

  • Runtime

    Turn Me Loose runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

  • Advisory

    Please be advised this production contains strong language and haze.

“Brilliant. Takes your breath away.”

New York Times

In association with John Legend, Get Lifted Film Company, Mike Jackson, The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, Beth Hubbard, The Private Theatre, Eric Falkenstein, SimonSays Entertainment, Jamie Cesa and Jana Babatunde-Bey.

Turn Me Loose is generously sponsored by Beth Newburger Schwartz and Dr. Donald Wallace Jones, Dr. Betty Jean Tolbert Jones and Tracey Tolbert Jones.

This intimate and no-holds-barred drama chronicles Dick Gregory’s rise as the first Black comedian to expose audiences to racial comedy. His comedy spared no one including politicians, celebrities and the white supremacists who were part of his regular audience. In confronting bigotry head-on with biting humor and charm, Gregory turned his activism into an art form, risking his own safety at each performance. “Scorchingly funny and brilliant” (The New York Times), Turn Me Loose is an exuberant and raw tribute to Gregory’s life as a civil rights activist, comic genius and unapologetic provocateur.

Cast

EDWIN LEE GIBSON

Dick Gregory

JOHN CARLIN

Stand-up Comic / Emcee / Interviewer / Heckler / Cabbie

Creative

GRETCHEN LAW

Playwright

JOHN GOULD RUBIN

Director

CHRISTOPHER BARRECA

Scenic Designer

SUSAN HILFERTY

Costume Designer

STEPHEN STRAWBRIDGE

Lighting Designer

LEON ROTHENBERG

Sound Designer

KIM JAMES BEY

Vocal Coach

Multimedia

Cathy Hughes (Urban One Inc.) talks about her friendship with Dick Gregory
Cathy Hughes (Urban One Inc.) talks about Dick Gregory
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of John Carlin by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.
Photo of Edwin Lee Gibson by Margot Schulman.

In The News

The Kojo Nnamdi Show - WAMU

Dick Gregory lives on in Turn Me Loose

Front Mezz Junkies

Arena Stage turns him loose with Turn Me Loose

The Georgetowner

Playing Dick Gregory at Arena Stage

WUSA9 - Off Script with Bruce Johnson

Christian Gregory discusses the richness of Turn Me Loose

PLAYBILL

Turn Me Loose extended due to popular demand

NBC4

Turn Me Loose tells the story of Dick Gregory

WTOP

Edwin Lee Gibson takes on the role of a lifetime

WAMU

A legend is remembered and celebrated at Arena Stage

Washington Post Express

For the love of Dick Gregory

DC Theatre Scene

Edwin Lee Gibson steps into Dick Gregory's shoes

WHUT-TV - #ARTICOtv

Edwin Lee Gibson talks portraying Dick Gregory in Turn Me Loose

Broadway World

Turn Me Loose Celebrates First Rehearsal

Playbill

Full Cast Announced for Turn Me Loose at Arena Stage

TheaterMania

Arena Stage announces cast and creative additions for 2018/19 season

Washington Post

Arena Stage looks into history for inspiration in 2018/19 season

American Theatre Magazine

Arena’s 2018-19 Season to Feature New Tom Kitt/Nell Benjamin Musical

Playbill

The 69th lineup at the Washington, D.C. venue will also include the a cappella musical Jubilee and Junk.

Accessible Performances

Open Captioned
Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Audio Described
September 22, 2018 at 2 p.m.

Events

Civil Dialogues
Sunday, September 16, 2018: No deplorables here; how to understand each other
A dialogue of Trump supporters and opponents.

Sunday, October 14, 2018: Exploring well-being in a digital world
In the digital age, does constant technology connection undermine our well-being? How can we use technology to improve our overall health? Can we prevent cyberbullying and online hate speech?
Learn more

Post-Show Discusssions
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 12 p.m.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 12 p.m.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 12 p.m. with guest panelists and Dick Gregory's children Yohance Maqubela and Ayanna Gregory.
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 8 p.m. with guest panelist, attorney and Dick Gregory's close friend Dr. E. Faye Williams.