The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) in association with American Place Theater is pleased to present COUNTY OF KINGS: the beautiful struggle, running January 7-18 at The Public Theater as part of UNDER THE RADAR 2009.
In COUNTY OF KINGS: the beautiful struggle, Brooklyn based hip-hop artist Lemon Andersen paints a portrait of a modern "man-child" on a tumultuous journey of self-discovery, performed in Lemon's unique voice and weaving drama with urban poetry. His true story of finding passion and purpose in life, against all odds, exposes the human experience behind hip-hop, perhaps the most influential and prevalent cultural movement of our time. COUNTY OF KINGS is developed and directed by Elise Thoron.
The 12-day UNDER THE RADAR 2009 festival, coinciding with the New York APAP conference, is committed to tracking new theater from across the U.S. and around the world. Tickets are $15 to all shows at The Public and are on-sale now.
Now in its fifth year, UNDER THE RADAR is an explosively diverse kaleidoscope of new theater-examples from around the world and the U.S. that spotlight artists ranging from emerging talents to masters in the field. Located at The Public Theater as well as partner venues, UNDER THE RADAR offers a crash course in theater that is exciting, independent, and experimental, created by some of the most dynamic artists working today.
LEMON ANDERSEN is a critically acclaimed poet and actor best known for his Tony Award-winning work in Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and HBO. A mainstay in the spoken word and theater scene for the past decade, he's performed in venues such as the Nuyorican Poet's Café, Apollo Theater, and Hollywood's Kodak Theater. His film credits include three films directed by Spike Lee: Sucker Free City, She Hate Me and Inside Man, in which Andersen appeared opposite Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. His theatre credits include Slanguage, which was directed by Jo Bonney and premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop. Other appearances include The Ride, which debuted at PS 122, and U, presented at the Mark Taper Forum.
ELISE THORON is a playwright and director whose credits include Green Violin, Prozak and the Playtpus, Charlotte: Life? or Theater?, and an adaptation of M. Kostalyevskaya's Good Morning Moscow. Her Russian-language adaptation of The Great Gatsby ran in repertory for seven years at Moscow's Pushkin Theater. Since 1986, Elise has worked on cross-cultural collaborations with Russian and American theater artists through the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and was one of the co-founders of American Soviet Theater Initiative in 1987. In addition to designing and facilitating numerous theater exchanges, she directed a company of American and Russian actors in a bilingual production of Oleg Antonov's Egorushka; for the St. Petersburg Music Theater Festival, she directed The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa and worked with V. Oustinovsky and his company on his Tsigany, and has been part of the organizing committee for many years. As Artistic Associate at the American Place Theater in New York, Elise was in charge of new play development, where she directed several world premieres.
THE PUBLIC THEATER (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, productions of Shakespeare, and other classics at its headquarters on Lafayette Street and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through its extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 41 Tony Awards, 145 Obies, 39 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.