Mr. Andersen has a distinctive talent that makes words sing in ways that insist you listen. But it’s the drive that makes him glow. “Watch me,” he demands, in the first sentence of “County of Kings.” He guarantees that you do.
– Ben Brantley, “The New York Times”
Brooklyn-born, raised, incarcerated and redeemed; Lemon’s borough-biopic “County of Kings” comes to Brooklyn for the first time…
County of Kings | BROOKLYN PREMIERE
(SOLD OUT | Few Tickets Avail At The Door)
A stage memoir by Tony Award-winning poet and playwright Lemon Andersen
Developed & Directed by Elise Thoron
BEAT Opening Night
Fort Greene: Sept 12, 7:30pm
Originally presented by Spike Lee at the Public Theater, County of Kings received an acclaimed New York Times review. Lemon’s unique voice flows from hard-edged drama to street poetry, creating a vivid portrait of his adverse yet often humorous coming-of-age experiences while growing up in 80’s and 90’s Brooklyn. County of Kings has been staged in the United States from coast-to-coast, in Europe and South Africa.
For one night only on Wednesday September 12th, County of Kings comes home to Brooklyn for the BEAT Festival.
About Lemon Andersen
Lemon Andersen is a performance artist, writer and Tony Award-winning poet.
In 2012 the Sundance Institute commissioned the development of ToasT, his new play to be staged at the Public Theater in New York City. For a decade, Lemon’s performances have rocked iconic venues including Harlem’s Apollo Theater, San Francisco’s Theatre On The Square, Charleston’s Spoleto Festival, the Chicago Theatre, New York State’s Spiegeltent, and Hollywood’s Kodak and Montalban Theatres.
Spike Lee produced Lemon’s coming-of-age autobiographical memoir County of Kings at the Public Theater. Lemon’s performance received an acclaimed review from Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Since its 2009 debut, County of Kings has been staged in the United States from coast-to-coast, in Europe and South Africa. Lemon published the play’s script and was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2010 New York Book Festival.
Lemon won a Tony Award in 2003 for Def Poetry Jam, produced by Russell Simmons on Broadway and broadcast on HBO for six seasons. He earned his classically trained chops at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab and his work has received support from the Ford Foundation. As a guest instructor at the esteemed Stella Adler Studio (2011-2012) Lemon developed the first spoken-word intensive to be offered at an actors’ conservatory. He has performed and led workshops at a number of college campuses, from the University of Wisconsin to Syracuse to UC Berkeley to Harvard.
In 2011 the TED organization invited Lemon to perform at their inaugural TEDYouth event, live streamed to 16 countries. Last year Lemon was also selected to join the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Retreat. In the spring of 2012 Lemon participated in Australia’s Sydney Writers Festival and New Zealand’s Auckland Writers & Readers Festival.
On the big screen, Lemon appeared opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s Inside Man and in The Soloist, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. LEMON, a documentary film portrait of his life and career path (Executive Producers, Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan) is currently screening at domestic and international film festivals and is slated for broadcast on PBS this fall. Lemon’s engaged YouTube audience totals upwards of one million video views.
A native New Yorker, Lemon proudly represents Brooklyn.
Photo credit: Najlah Feanny (slider right)