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LeLand Gantt

The Clemens Center and John G. Ullman & Associates Foundation, Inc. 2021-2022 Family Connex Series presents

RHAPSODY IN BLACK | Encore Virtual Performance

Free Educational On Demand Streaming Event for High School and College Students

Available for Streaming Monday, October 18 – Sunday, October 31, 2021

Free through reservation. To reserve a spot, please contact Janice Slocum at 607-733-5639 x777 or janices@clemenscenter.org.

Recommended for high school and above. Video with captions available upon request.

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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 youth and educational institutions in our area FREE of charge.


Written & Performed by LeLand Gantt
Directorial Consultant Estelle Parsons
Developed at Actors Studio

“I’m just trying to start a conversation.” — CREATOR LELAND GANTT

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.

Charming, self-deprecatingly funny, linguistically awesome, LeLand Gantt imbues every word that falls from his mouth with all the passion and poignancy of a preacher speaking the Gospel. This is partly because he’s confronting heavy subjects, but mostly because he believes so firmly in his message that it’s impossible for it to emerge any other way. In his own words, “Objective truth strikes a chord.”

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


This educational performance is available to be streamed as a 60-minute version straight through or in 3 segments with a special fourth segment by LeLand Gantt himself on writing your own autobiographical show.

Content available to stream on demand at a time of your choosing from October 18 – October 31, 2021. You may access content for your classroom multiple times. Registration for each participating classroom is required.

Please note: Your registration allows you the right to stream the performance video and corresponding educational content for the show Rhapsody in Black only for those classrooms that are registered. Please be sure to register all classrooms.

If you register for access to this content before October 15, you will receive an email with the link and password on October 18. If you register for access to this content on or after October 15, 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. You may share the link with your students to watch remotely, or you can share your screen during class time.


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


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