By Lemon Andersen
Developed and Directed by Elise Thoron
Willie Green a.k.a. "Dolomite," the famous Folklore hero from the old Black Narratives, is still known as the baddest badass out of San Antone, but he's aged and has been locked up for murder in Attica's D-Block for the last 27 years. Word is brewing throughout Attica that a riot is coming, but Dolomite and his cellmates would rather not get involved until the youngest inmate in D-Block gets a vicious beating by the officers for demanding better prison conditions. Does Dolomite join the riots and take vengeance upon the officers for what they did – or lock himself in his cell and hope for a promised parole date and the chance to taste freedom? The word "toast" is actually 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 like Stackolee, Jesse James, Voodoo Queen, Hard Rock to the stage. Eight character play written by Lemon Andersen, developed and directed by Elise Thoron.
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 KickStarted by 55 amazing backers.
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 a workshop in partnership with the Baryshnikov Art Center with Post-Lab Support funds made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
First public reading of ToasT at Under the Radar 2013. ToasT continued in development at The Public Theater for a Public Lab Production in the 2014-15 season with residencies at The Vineyard Arts Project, Guild Hall, (East Hampton), Gammage Theater, (U of Arizona), for a production at the Public Theater, spring 2015.