A Body of Water

Petit Reads play reading series returns to present public presentation of Kelley Nicole Girod’s A Body of Water 

On July 18th, 2024, at 7 pm, Le Petit Theater will present a public reading of award-winning playwright and producer Kelley Nicole Girod’s play A Body of Water.  A Body of Water is the third piece in Girod’s Louisiana trilogy that traces her family’s history in Louisiana and includes the plays This Stretch of Montpelier, and The Faith Healer.  

Set amidst the tempestuous backdrop of The Great Flood of 2016 in Baton Rouge,  A Body of Water follows the story of  Martha Girod, an affluent matriarch steeped in her Creole roots, who suddenly finds herself in an existential crisis as she grapples with her cancer recovery and a major life transition. In the face of the powers of nature and God, she is forced to confront a past that still haunts her when the storm leaves her and her husband temporarily unhoused,  washing away the upper-middle-class stability that they have long fought for, and unearthing her childhood trauma of living through hurricane Camille.  

A Body Of Water has received developmental support from Sundance IDP Grant and City Arts Grant (NYC).  

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About the Playwright

A native of Louisiana, Girod has lived in NYC since 2005 where she completed her Masters in playwriting at Columbia University.  Since graduating she has established herself in NYC as a playwright and producer.  Girod is currently Director of New Work at the world-famous Apollo Theater.  In addition, Kelley continues to serve as Executive Director of OBIE award-winning The Fire This Time Festival, a platform for early career Black playwrights, which she founded in 2009.  Girod is also an award-winning playwright whose work has been developed/presented at Atlantic Theater Company, Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, Stanford’s TAPS Program, The Fire This Time Festival,  Harlem 9, Primary Stages, Sundance, Planet Connections Theater Festival,  Parity Productions, The Apollo and more. In 2023, she was named the recipient of New York Innovative Theater’s prestigious Ellen Stewart Award.  She was also a 2020 nominee of the prestigious Paul Robeson Award. In addition, Girod is Editor of The Fire This Time Festival’s first anthology of plays published with Bloomsbury UK/Methuen Drama titled “25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival, A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Rebirth and Black Theater.”  Kelley is thrilled to be bringing her piece back to her home state and hopes to continue developing all three pieces in Louisiana for her people. She also looks forward to continuing to work with Le Petit Theater to create an artistic pipeline of Louisiana arts and artists between Louisiana and NYC.

 

A Body of Water is directed by Girod’s longtime collaborator and Native New Orleanian Andrew Block. An award-winning NYC-based director, Block is the recipient of the Ovation and L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards for Best Director & Production for the world premiere of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair. Selected credits include: Adam Szymkowicz’ Clown Bar 2 (SparkPlug Productions), Kelley Nicole Girod (Body of Water, This Stretch of Montpelier),  Mark Jason Williams’ Straight Faced Lies and The Other Day (Theatre at 14th St Y); John Pollonos’s Lost and Found (FringeNYC Encore, Lucille Lortel Theatre); Sondheim’s Company (Gallery Players); David Caudle’s Downward Facing Debbie (World premiere, Project Y); Why Bother? (Best Director, Planet Connections Festivity); Adam Rapp’s Bingo With the Indians (GLAAD award nomination for Outstanding Theatre); Illuminati (Best Director, Network OAF); Bedroom Farce (FAPC); Reach (Ivy Theatre); Avenue Q (Manhattan College); Inherit the Wind (Manhattan College); Rumors (AADA); The Shape of Things (Adelphi University); Recovery (FringeNYC); Andrew also serves as TDF’s liaison and representative to NYC’s vibrant Off and Off-Off Broadway community.

Cast

Troi Bechet

Leslie Castay

Robert DoQui

Lara Grice

Keyara Milliner

John Neisler

Reviews

Broadway World feature article by Tara Bennett
Read here



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