The Great Khan Is Worth The Wait
Director and social justice advocate Jess McLeod believes in art as a force for change. Known for her bold aesthetic, she gravitates towards risky, multi-dimensional work, challenging existing power structures and asking audiences to fearlessly examine what’s really happening around us. Michael Gene Sullivan’s The Great Khan is one of those plays that falls right into Jess’ sweet spot – a comedy with a sharp, socially-conscious heart.
At the first rehearsal, Jess shared these remarks about The Great Khan with the actors, creatives and San Diego REP team:
This is the play we’ve been waiting for.
Because, much like its playwright, it cuts through the bullshit, calls you out, calls you in, and has a great time doing it. This play knows that kids of color, particularly Black kids, don’t get to be kids. It knows that they need
to be kids and in this play they GET to be kids without being naïve about the danger the world holds for them.
It calls out a white teacher for accepting white supremacist patriarchal Eurocentric history AND calls him to sideline his ego and accept that once you know
more, you should do more, because you can
It takes a villainized 13th century warrior and un-redacts his story, restoring him to full and dazzling complexity.
It knows that kids fuck up, parents fuck up, teachers fuck up – and positions them to talk and work through it, while also giving each other a lot of shit. And it connects misfits unsatisfied with the status quo who end up changing each other, changing themselves and (for at least one of them so far) changing the world.
This play is a delight, a rollercoaster ride and a challenge. It believes in change and invites audiences to believe in change – to believe that we
are as capable of growth as these characters.
And in that growth lies something we all need – hope.
Jess McLeod, February 2022
THE GREAT KHAN is playing March 3 – 27 in the Lyceum Space
Tickets available now from $25
Read more and buy tickets here
Read more about Jess in this SDC Journal article: 20 Questions with Jess McLeod