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About On the Levee - Off Broadway

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LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater's programming initiative devoted to producing the work of new artists and developing new audiences, will produce the world premiere of On the Levee, a play with music, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, play by Marcus Gardley and music and lyrics by Todd Almond, as the third of three productions during the 2009-2010 season.

Set on a levee in Greenville, Mississippi, On the Levee is a play with music that revisits the flood of 1927, the worst in U.S. history. At the heart of the story are two fathers (a white cotton farmer and an African-American bootblack) and their sons. Based on a true story, On the Levee reaffirms the enduring spirit of hope in a time of great poverty and devastation.

Conceiver-Director Lear deBessonet's productions include a site-specific Don Quixote in collaboration with playwright Lucy Thurber in Philadelphia, Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards at PS 122, transfigures (Women's Project) and productions at the HERE Arts Center, NY Fringe and NYU's Experimental Theatre Wing.

Marcus Gardley (Play) is a playwright-poet who received a 2008 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwright and the presitigious 2007 Kesselring Honoree Award. His plays include Love is a Dream House in Lorin (Shotgun Players, Berkeley, CA.), dance of the holy ghost (Yale Rep), (L)imitations of Life (Empty Space Theatre) and like sun fallin' in the mouth (National Black Theatre Festival).

Todd Almond (Music and Lyrics) is a composer, lyricist and performer whose musicals include People Like Us (NY Musical Theatre Festival), Girlfriend (Berkeley Rep), Ahraihsak (Theatre Mitu) and the upcoming We Have Always Lived In The Castle (Yale Rep). His songs have been performed by such theatre performers as Victoria Clark, Cheyenne Jackson, Jayne Houdyshell, Laura Benanti and Stephen Pasquale.

Cast: Amari Cheatom, Brian D. Coats, Chuck Cooper, Maria Couch, Harriet Foy, Dion Graham, April Matthis, Seth Numrich, Stephen Plunkett, Michael Siberry, Shelley Thomas, Jacob Ming Trent


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