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RHAPSODY IN BLACK – Community Version

June 14 - June 20

LeLand Gantt

Presented by John G. Ullman & Associates Foundation, Inc.

FREE On Demand Streaming Event
Monday, June 14 – Sunday, June 20, 2021

Live Q&A on Zoom with Leland Gantt on Thursday, June 17 @ 8:30pm. Limit: 100 attendees; first come, first served.

FREE through reservation. To reserve a spot, please contact Janice Slocum at 607-735-2777 or janices@clemenscenter.org.

Recommended for a mature audience . Video with captions available upon request.


As a cultural arts organization we strive to bring various points of view to our stage. The sharing of stories and opinions helps bring the community together, and enhances everyone’s quality of life. Please join us the week of June 14 for Rhapsody in Black.

Thanks to the vision and funding of the John G. Ullman & Associates Foundation, Inc., the Clemens Center was able to join 12 other notable theatres across the United States to commission this important and timely performance, and offer it to the community FREE of charge.

Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC’s Actors Studio by Estelle Parsons, Rhapsody in Black is a one-man show that explores LeLand’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. We follow his life story — from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania to teenage experiments with crime and drugs to scholastic achievement and an acting career that land adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African-American in the room. His efforts to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked “The Other” is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, guaranteed to leave lasting impressions. Multiple elements combine to give Rhapsody its super-powered emotional punch, many of them concentrated in the incredible persona of its star.

Please note that this show explores the topic of racism, and includes sensitive and difficult situations and language.

If you have ever wondered what it feels like to walk in a black man’s shoes in America, this powerful performance will inform you.

“It’s a brilliant performance of razor sharp writing. For those of us involved in studying acting or playwriting…watching this actor bring total commitment to every moment of his hour-long monologue is a master class in acting, and a master class in creating a one-person play. It’s also a really important theatrical contribution to the conversation on race in America, and demonstrates one of the priceless contributions the theatre can make to society.”

Mary Guzzy, Professor
Humanities and Social Sciences –Theatre
Corning Community College

Pre-registration is required for this virtual performance to be streamed June 14 – 20. A separate live Q&A via Zoom with writer, actor Leland Gantt will take place Thursday, June 17 @ 8:30pm. Contact Janice Slocum at janices@clemenscenter.org or call 607-735-2777 to register and receive your link.

We look forward to having you join us for this essential community conversation to help bring understanding and healing, which we plan to continue into the 2021-22 season and beyond. Join our mailing/ Enews list to receive more information. And for self-education on the topics of systemic racism, unconscious bias, and how to become a part of the solution, check out What We’re Reading at the Clemens Center.

Show Length: 90 minutes

If you register for access to this content before June 11, you will receive an email with the link and password on June 14. If you register for access to this content on or after June 11, you will receive an email with the link and password within one (1) business day of registration. Emails will be sent directly to the Contact Person for your registration, at the email provided.

Made possible through the generous support of the John G. Ullman & Associates Foundation, Inc.

*The 13 American Performing Arts Institutions to Commission Rhapsody in Black Virtual Performance: AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX; Bardavon Opera House, Poughkeepsie, NY; Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord, NH; Clemens Center, Elmira, NY; Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati, OH; Goodwill Theatre, Johnson City, NY; Lied Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln, NE; Lied Center of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; Mahaiwe Performing ArtsCenter, Great Barrington, MA; Ordway Center, St. Paul, MN; Playhouse Square, Cleveland, OH; Stockbridge Theatre, Derry, NH



June 14
June 20
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