Black Cypress Bayou

By Kristen Adele Calhoun
Originally produced at Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA
February 7 - March 13, 2024

Synopsis:  On a hot summer night in Texas, Vernita Manifold summons her two daughters down to the bayou with a secret too big to keep. The richest, meanest man in town is dead, and the Manifold women know more than they’re saying. As secrets begin to surface, the bonds between the women, their town, and the legacy of their ancestors all come to a head. Black Cypress Bayou is a hilarious, suspenseful world premiere about loyalty, healing, and comeuppance.

Artistic StatementThe contemporary resonance of Black Cypress Bayou is palpable, its theatrical potential thrilling and its entertainment value downright undeniable – a twisty plot, a reveal of a head in a basket, and dialogue that pops off the page. It is rare and necessary to see a play that ends with Black women enjoying a sense of community, resilience, and even some satisfying justice. We are so thrilled to be partnering with Writer Kristen Adele Calhoun and Director Tiffany Nichole Greene on this exciting and important new play.

Grant Statement: Our ability to nurture the creative process for new work is critical to its overall success. It affects not only our production and its impact on audiences, but the future life of the play. This grant provides an additional two weeks of in-person rehearsal for the artists and creative team, ensuring the company has the time needed to bring an entirely new production to life. This extended rehearsal schedule not only supports crucial character and story development, but also gives us invaluable time to address the challenges inherent in any world premiere production and allows for deeper exploration of every aspect of the play.

Creative team:

Director: Tiffany Nichole Greene
Scenic Designer: Lawrence E. Moten III
Costume Designer: Mylette Nora
Lighting Designer: Donny Jackson
Sound Design & Music by: Everett Elton Bradman
Associate Director: Velani Dibba
Dramaturg: Lindsay A. Jenkins
Casting Director: Phyllis Schuringa, CSA


Taysha Hunter: Amber Chardae Robinson
Ladybird “Lady” Manifold: Brandee Evans
RaeMeka “Meka” Manifold-Baler: Angela Lewis
Vernita Manifold: Kimberly Scott