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In association with 651 Arts
Lemon Andersen’s new play ToasT, commissioned by The Public Theater in New York City and the Sundance Institute, will debut in April 2015. For a decade, Lemon’s performances have rocked iconic venues including San Francisco’s Theatre On The Square, Gammage Performing Arts Center in Arizona, Charleston’s Spoleto Festival, New Haven’s Arts & Ideas Festival, the Chicago Theatre and the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2009, Spike Lee produced Lemon’s coming-of-age autobiographical memoir County of Kings at the Public Theater. His performance received an acclaimed review from Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Published in 2010, the play’s script was awarded the New York Book Festival’s Grand Prize. 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 Sundance Institute. His resume as an author also includes his book of new poems titledStraightrazor. Lemon’s writing was excerpted by actor and activist Hill Harper for his best-selling book Letters To An Incarcerated Brother. A native New Yorker, Lemon proudly represents Brooklyn.
DJ Reborn is a trailblazing international DJ, sound collage artist, hip hop theater musical director and arts educator. She has spent the last two decades utilizing her passion for music and her skills as a DJ to traverse within these worlds and make an impact. Reborn has worked as a DJ/creative writing mentor for teen girls at Urban Word NYC, a DJ instructor and curriculum designer for Dubspot, and as touring DJ for Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. In the music world, she has opened shows for The Roots and John Legend and in the art world, she has worked with celebrated artists Kara Walker, Wangheci Mutu and the legendary Carrie Mae Weems. She has deejayed live on BET and for the live telecast of the NAACP Image Awards as well as the MSNBC telecast of the One Nation Rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. She has graced many stages including The Kennedy Center and The Sydney Opera House in Australia. She’s provided live soundscapes for activists Eve Ensler’s V-Day project and Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People. DJ Reborn now lives and works bi-coastally between NYC and LA. She continues to build a unique and dynamic resume that sets her apart from many in her field.
J. Keys is a Brooklyn based emcee hailing from Detroit, Michigan. His sound blends both his midwest upbringing and his years of east coast experience to create his own independent rhythm. J. Keys has performed at some of NYC’s most important and legendary spaces, including S.O.B’s, B.B. Kings, Rock and Rose, Kraine Theater, Le Poisson Rouge and Pianos. Additionally, he has rocked stages nationally and internationally from Atlanta to South Africa. Most recently he opened for DJ Quik in NYC and performed on the Mainstage at A3C alongside such notable emcees as Elzhi of Slum Village, Master Ace, and Skyzoo.