ToasT (Work in Progress)
Lemon Andersen (USA)
Written by Lemon Andersen
Directed and Developed by Elise Thoron
Running Time: 90 Minutes
The Public Theater: 425 Lafayette Street
Free tickets: Reservations at 212-967-7555
A reading of Andersen's new play celebrates the poetic history of black oral narratives called "toasts" and re-imagines Dolomite, Stackolee, Annabelle Jones, Jesse James and other legendary folklore heroes in Attica prison where a riot is brewing.
"Toast" is an art form of reciting poetry based on characters and situations driven from the Black Experience, mostly told and performed in the prisons, bars and pool halls of America. The play honors this poetic form and brings its heroes to the stage.
Lemon Andersen is a performance artist, writer and Tony Award-winning poet who has performed on Broadway (Def Poetry Jam), The Public Theater (County of Kings) and other international venues. Elise Thoron's plays have been produced in the U.S and Europe. As Associate Artistic Director at American Place Theatre, Elise launched Literature to Life, a highly successful theater literacy program, now nationwide, where Lemon's County of Kings was first developed for students, before performing at The Public, Spoleto, and venues around the world.
"A fine-grained grittiness of detail and a rapt love for words." - The New York Times
ToasT is a commission of The Public Theater and supported by the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
ToasT was developed, in part, at the 2011 Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross, the 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort, and at a workshop in partnership with the Baryshnikov Art Center with Post-Lab Support funds made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.