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shadow/land's Grand Marshal
LuEsther Hall April 20 - May 28, 2023 90 minutes

World Premiere
By Erika Dickerson-Despenza
Directed by Candis C. Jones

Premiering as an audio play at The Public, 2021 Susan Blackburn Prize winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s shadow/land returns in Spring 2023 with a stunning live production.

As Hurricane Katrina begins her ruin, tensions between duty & desire surface, a levee is brought to its knees & Ruth must wrestle with all that she's ready to let go. shadow/land is a lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination.

Directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones, shadow/land is the first installment of a 10-play cycle traversing the Katrina diaspora in an examination of the ongoing effects of disaster, evacuation, displacement, and urban renewal rippling in and beyond New Orleans.


Content and Production Effect Warning

Learn about runtimes, late seating, production effect advisories, and more.


Dive Deeper

  • shadow/land Playbill
  • Tune into the Public Square 2.0 podcast for some bonus content on shadow/land. Learn more about the creative process with host, Garlia Cornelia Jones, speaks with Jill M. Vallery (Movement Director), Delfeayo Marsalis (Composer), and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Designer) about their creative process and bringing to life their work onto the stage. Tune in now!
  • Immerse yourself in shadow/land: SETTING THE SCENE – a handpicked playlist by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, inspired by shado/land and the lasting impact of Hurricane Katrina.


Image of Joniece Abbott-Pratt

Joniece Abbott-Pratt


Image of Lynnette R Freeman

Lynnette R Freeman

Understudy Ruth

Image of Perri Gaffney

Perri Gaffney

Understudy Magalee

Image of Lizan Mitchell

Lizan Mitchell


Image of Christine Shepard

Christine Shepard

Grand Marshal

Image of Joy-Marie Thompson

Joy-Marie Thompson

Understudy Grand Marshal


Erika Dickerson-Despenza
Candis C. Jones
Jason Ardizzone-West
Scenic Design
Azalea Fairley
Costume Design
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Lighting Design
Palmer Hefferan
Sound Design
Delfeayo Marsalis
Original Music Composer
Earon Chew Nealey
Hair, Wig, and Makeup Design
Amanda Perry
Prop Manager
Ann James
Intimacy Coordinator
Jill M. Vallery
Movement Director
Julie Congress
Voice & Speech Coach
Dawn-Elin Fraser
Dialect Coach
Nissy Aya
Janelle Caso
Production Stage Manager
Daniel Vaughn
Stage Manager




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