Academy Award nominated director Spike Lee, the award winning Culture Project, Steve Colman
and Jayson Jackson in association with The Public Theater present County of Kings. Written and performed by Lemon Andersen (Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam), and directed by Elise Thoron, County of Kings begins performances Tuesday, September 29 for a six week limited engagement at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street. The opening has been scheduled for Monday, October 12.
"Lemon is a young man who possesses a wealth of talent and he knows how to tell a story. He joins the legacy of storytellers from Brooklyn," says presenter and filmmaker Spike Lee.
Featured last year as part of The Public Theatre's Under The Radar Festival, Lemon Andersen's
County of Kings gives a tough, yet poignant biographical account of a good kid growing up in an unforgiving environment in this one man journey. Weaving hard- edged drama with urban poetry, the Brooklyn hip-hop artist spins his own coming-of-age memoir in this jarring and poignant solo performance. A true story of finding passion and purpose against all odds, Lemon paints a vivid portrait of his difficult and sometimes humorous experiences growing up during the most influential cultural movement of our time, the birth of hip-hop.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lemon Andersen has been featured as a regular on HBO's "Def Poetry" presented by Russell Simmons and was also an original cast member and writer of Russell Simmons Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. On screen Lemon has appeared opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee's Inside Man and The Soloist starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.
Culture Project is New York's premier destination for artistic work that investigates urgent social and political issues. By fostering innovative collaboration between human rights organizations and theatre, music and film artists, Culture Project aims to inspire and impact public dialogue and policy, encouraging democratic participation in the most urgent matters of our time.
Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Allan Buchman, Culture Project has premiered celebrated shows including The Exonerated, Sarah Jones' Bridge & Tunnel, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Lawrence Wright's My Trip To Al-Qaeda, Tings Dey Happen, the Lucille Lortel Award-winning World Premiere of George Packer's Betrayed and Temple University's acclaimed production of In Conflict. Most recently, Culture Project produced Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum, a groundbreaking concert at the United Nations to commemorate the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Steve Colman co-wrote and co-starred in the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. A long-time creative collaborator with his wife Sarah Jones (stage actress), he was the co-creator andassistant director of Jones's Tony Award-winning show Bridge and Tunnel. His theater work and collaborations with Jones have garnered two Drama Desk nominations, an Obie, a Theater World Award, and a Helen Hayes Award. Colman began his poetry career at the Nuyorican Poets Café on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He won the National Poetry Slam championship as a member of the Nuyorican Poets Café slam team and also received the Café's Fresh Poet Award. Colman co-authored Burning Down the House (SoftSkull Press), and Russell Simmons' Def
Poetry Jam on Broadway and More (Atria Books). He is a graduate of MacalesterCollege (BA) and Case Western Reserve University (MA).