Cycle 2: the road weeps, the well runs dry
Playwright Marcus Gardley and his play, the road weeps, the well runs dry is the centerpiece of Cycle II. The consortium of theaters producing this play consists of the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Perseverance Theatre, Pillsbury House Theatre and the University of South Florida. In advance of each production, conversations around the play’s themes of migration, identity and education are facilitated locally by Donna Walker-Kuhne, the project’s community engagement consultant.
Surviving centuries of slavery, revolts and ‘the trail of tears’, a community of self-proclaimed Freemen (Black Native Americans) incorporate the first all-black town in Wewoka, Oklahoma. But the very foundations of the town are put to the test when the new religion and the old way come head to head, their former enslavers try to cease their land and the leader of the Freemen makes use of his brilliant, “burning” immortality.
the road weeps, the well runs dry is the second installment in a trilogy about the migration of Black Seminoles (African and Native American people) from Florida to Oklahoma. The first act of the road weepstraces events leading up to the Civil War in Wewoka, Oklahoma and the second act follows the war. At its core, the play is about a group of people whose faith and identity are put to test when their water well runs dry.
About Marcus Gardley
Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His most recent play, Every Tongue Confess, premiered at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon. It was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award and was a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. His musical, On The Levee, premiered last summer at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. Last spring, his play, And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, was produced at The Cutting Ball Theater and received the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination for outstanding new play and was extended twice. He has had six plays produced including dance of the holy ghost at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a Broadway option), (L)imitations of Life, at the Empty Space in Seattle, and like sun fallin’ in the mouth at the National Black Theatre Festival. He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and The Lark. He is a professor of Playwriting at Brown University.