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Writer Of Broadway's 'Thoughts Of A Colored Man' Forced Into Action On Stage After COVID Sidelines Star

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- For some Broadway productions, even when the show goes on it does so without a full cast.

That was particularly evident on Tuesday night, when a playwright jumped in to save the day, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.

There was a triumphant curtain call at Broadway's "Thoughts of a Colored Man."

Getting cheered and hugged was Keenan Scott II, who couldn't quite believe he was really on stage, replacing star Esau Pritchett in the role of "Wisdom."

"It was definitely a lot of anxiety because not only remembering the lines, there's blocking, there's lighting cues," Scott said.

He is not cast member and not an understudy.

But he knows the critically acclaimed new show better than anyone. He wrote it.

"For a playwright to step in last minute, I've never heard of that. I don't know if it has happened. But I was proud to do it," Scott said.

With every understudy already covering for other actors, it was call in the playwright or send everyone home and shutter the show after a COVID test came back positive.

"At about around 7:50, 7:55, I knew officially I was going to have to go on stage," Scott said.

He went in through the stage door the playwright, he came out again the star.

"Costumes was trying to get my shoe size and getting my shirt size to dress me. I was getting mic'ed," Scott said.

"At any point did you have to say 'line' or get some help?" Carlin asked.

"I was definitely ad-libbing some last night," Scott said. "I have the script in hand, but, definitely, when it came to blocking and where I need to be on stage, the actors definitely helped me out."

"Was it a stretch to play this particular role?" Carlin asked.

"I'm not a 65-year-old man," Scott said. "I had to step into the role that I had to."

The audience knew what was going on and went wild.

"It was a great feeling," Scott said. "For me to be able to come in last night, and save my show and save my family, it was a blessing and I wouldn't have made any other choice and I was proud to be out there with them. I was proud to give the audience the performance they deserved. They bought these tickets. They have traveled to come see us. They are fighting COVID with us."

Jumping out of his comfort zones, Scott went out of his way to earn the applause.


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