Based on Rex Rose’s New Orleans novella, TOAST, with its jazz-techno fusion score tells the gritty story of a community trying to put down roots in post-Katrina New Orleans. TOAST had a reading at Coastal Carolina University in 2015, a workshop production at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2016, and was further developed at the Johnny Mercer Colony in 2017.
Tania, a magnetic, brash young woman with a broken-down car, returns to New Orleans to find her tattoo-artist ex-lover “Snake,” in hopes of completing her half-finished serpent tattoo and winning a new Harley in an upcoming biker mag contest. But, finding Snake still embittered over their break-up and also dying of AIDS, the reunion is more difficult than she ever imagined.
In New Orleans, she quickly falls in with a crew of misfits seeking to transfigure the pain of existence–particularly in the wake of the hurricane–to joy (or at least a good time) in the classic New Orleans tradition. Centered around an upstart underground night club called “The Green Goddess,” the community’s attempt to rebuild itself and recover from unimaginable loss is threatened when government forces strive to shut the club down.
Meanwhile, Tania finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with Marcus, an ex-pat Brit and denizen of the club who has fallen passionately in love with her, and Snake, whose unresolved desire for Tania remains. Tania seeks closure with Snake and the mutual artistic expression they both desperately need while exploring her budding relationship with Marcus and combatting her own impulses to run away from the complexities of life, love, and loss.
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