Jon Keevy is a writer who dabbles in a bit of everything. He’s written about a dozen plays (he’s bad at keeping track) from serious solo shows to raunchy sketch comedies, he’s done a handful of short films, and spent half-a-year writing a fantasy novel about rebels and sentient plants. Probably his highest achievement was writing the script for Free Live’s Genital Jousting… a game about a squishy penis searching for love and meaning. The story was even nominated for an international award. Weird. He does other things too but frankly this seems like enough for now, and you can always google him if you want more. Oh, wait… that would probably bring you back here. I guess it’s on me to give you more.
So, general facts first: He graduated from UCT in 2007 for the 3rd time with an MA in theatre-making and started making theatre with Bosnian-born director Sanjin Muftić, a long time collaborator on many ill-advised schemes. Together they produced four plays at the National Arts Festival, toured to Rwanda and Knysna, ran an underground theatre until the cops shut it down, created projections for operas and generally kept themselves busy.
The highlights of his theatre career so far:
A Girl Called Owl, a solo show performed by Briony Horwitz. Performed at the National Arts Festival, it was invited to the Brighton Fringe in 2009, and toured extensively around South Africa.
Get Kraken, a play for young audiences featuring a fisherman and his grandson getting caught up in a robot’s hunt for the kraken. It was published in 2013 in Shuters Top Class grade 9 English Reader.
Dirty Words, a foray into sketch comedy that became one of his most beloved works. It received an Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2015 and played to sold-out houses.
The Underground Library, a dystopian sci-fi adventure for young audiences. It earned the Fleur du Cap Award for Best Production for Children and Young People in 2018.
From 2011 to 2019 Keevy was the director of Alexander Bar’s Upstairs Theatre: the smallest and busiest stage in Cape Town, hosting over 60 different productions each year and earning a BASA award for small arts business. It packed a punch in the local theatre landscape, providing a space for new, independent work from professional theatre-makers and new-comers to the scene.
Of course Free Live’s Genital Jousting has already been mentioned. A game about a penis looking for love that challenges toxic masculinity. In 2019 it was nominated for an IGF award at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. It didn’t win but the ceremony had amazing canapes.
In 2017, Keevy took 5 months to move his novel off the back-burner and onto the hot plate. The result was The Unwoven Warrior, a 90k word action-fantasy in an African-inspired world. He is currently seeking representation for this project.
His current project is a collaboration with Michal Malek: Zarnia, a youtube channel focused on local geek culture. It profiles South African creators, and hosts an actual-play Dungeons & Dragons campaign called Legends of Storm’s Eye.
You can get in touch with Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org