This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Tuesday (Feb. 25). This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.
As an actor, Ernest Emmanuel Peeples has portrayed a real range of characters — from Hamlet to the Ghost of Christmas Present. But in recent months, one particular theatrical role stands out from the rest: the opportunity to portray Lu, one of the adolescents at the center of Jason Reynolds’ wildly popular young adult novels, one of which is now also a play.
Like Peeples, the character Lu has albinism, a genetic condition involving a lack of pigment that affects one’s skin, hair and eyes. Having this in common with a character is a first for Peeples, and a meaningful one.
“Lu is given the opportunity to just be a normal person,” Peeples explains. “Typically when you see characters with albinistic characteristics, they’re presented in an overly antagonistic or monstrous way, devoid of true human emotions to the point that they're bad or angry or evil simply due to the fact that they're different. Or they're overly sympathetic.”
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Peeples will talk with host Sarah Fenske about his role in Metro Theater Company’s “Ghost,” which runs now through March 1 at the Grandel Theatre. The production is directed by Jacqueline Thompson, who will also join the on-air conversation.