Southern Rep Theatre has commissioned Louisiana playwright Pamela Davis-Noland to lead a team of artists, neighbors (past & present), and vendors of historic Bayou Road, New Orleans, to create an interactive, multi-disciplinary play that will premiere next year as part of the company’s 2019-20 season.

BAYOU ROAD: A JOURNEY, A VISION, AND A PLAY uses stories collected since 2016 via personal interviews, story-circles, shared anecdotes and ongoing historic research to celebrate the rich history of Bayou Road. The project seeks to honor the rich community which Southern Rep joins this season in its new home, the former St. Rose de Lima church. Mel Cook will direct the play, a culmination of a multi-year, partnership-rich process.

Southern Rep joins the legacy of this road created by Indigenous tribes–including the Natchez, the Tunica, the Taensas, the Houma, the Chitimacha, the Washa, and Atakapa–and maintained by the entrepreneurial spirit of the thriving businesses around us. We hope you’ll be a part of this journey with us!

In addition, Southern Rep will integrate this project with its “Workshop Wednesday” series, inviting its neighbors and community to be part of the process of implementing ideas as they develop from page to stage. Once a month, for the next year, Southern Rep’s audiences and fellow artists will be invited to join Davis-Noland for events, conversations and projects that look into the process of new play development. Access to photos, video and audio excerpts of interviews with local neighbors on Bayou Road will accessible on this page, so check back soon for updates.  

The announcement of the project, titled BAYOU ROAD: A JOURNEY, A VISION, AND A PLAY, was made live at the re-opening celebration of The Rose Collaborative Campus (formerly the St. Rose de Lima Campus). At the event, local performance artist Tonya Boyd-Cannon debuted a moving song and monologue from the play in development, which can be viewed here.

Artwork by Jessica “jHand” Strahan.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.