The House That Will Not Stand


Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility Calendar

By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

2017/18 Season

July 11, 2018—August 19, 2018

This production includes haze,
strobe lighting and gunshots.

Runtime: Approximately 2 hours and
15 minutes including one intermission.

Read Synopsis

In the heat of summer, Louisiana passed from France to the United States. On the eve of the transfer, in a house in mourning, freedom hangs in the balance for a steely widow and her three eligible daughters, all free women of color. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Marcus Gardley‘s lyrical, nuanced play, THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND, is directed by Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz.

Scenic Design Adam Rigg
Costume Design Montana Levi Blanco
Lighting Design Yi Zhao
Sound Design & Original Music Justin Ellington
Wig Design Cookie Jordan
Movement Raja Feather Kelly
Dialect and Vocal Coach Dawn-Elin Fraser
Stage Manager Terri K. Kohler


    New York: The Good Negro (Public Theater). Regional: Sunset Baby (City Theatre), Seven Guitars (Actors Theater of Louisville), The Mountaintop (Geva Theatre), Seven Guitars (No Rules Theater Company), The House That Will Not Stand (Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Yale Repertory), Stick Fly (Arden Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (Palm Beach Dramaworks), Slippery as Sin (Passage Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Huntington Theatre Company), Gem of the Ocean (Hartford Stage), The Piano Lesson (Yale Rep and Delaware Theatre Company), The Good Negro (Dallas Theatre Center), Mama’s Gonna Buy You (William Inge Theatre Festival), Dirt Rich (NY Summer Stage), Stick Fly and The Overwhelming (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), False Creeds (Alliance Theatre Company), Breath, Boom (Synchronicity Performance Group) and The Doll Play’s (Actor’s Express). Television: “Instinct,” “Blindspot,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Show Me a Hero,” “Luke Cage.” Training: Clark Atlanta University; MFA–University of Iowa.


    Juliana recently starred in the Theater for a New Audience production of He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, in what the The Hollywood Reporter called an “affecting performance,” New York Magazine lauded it as “luminous,” and The New York Times hailed as “perfect.” She followed that with a performance in the Fourth Street Theater’s production of Zürich, opposite Paul Wesley, that The New Yorker called “especially good.” Juliana recently shot a recurring role on the highly-anticipated upcoming HBO series “Succession,” opposite Brian Cox and Kieran Culkin, and directed by Adam McKay. She graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.


    Broadway: Amelie, Amazing Grace, The American Plan, Mamma Mia and Once on This Island. Off-Broadway: X or Betty Shabazz vs The Nation, Rimbaud in New York (BAM), On the Levee (AUDELCO nomination) and Crowns (AUDELCO Award). Original Cast recordings: Amelie, Amazing Grace, Inside Out, Lone Star Love and Reunion. Regional: Nina Simone: Four Women (as Nina Simone – Arena Stage); Ella: First Lady of Song (DTC); MotherFreakingHood! (NYMF – Outstanding Individual Performance Award); The House That Will Not Stand (Yale Rep, Connecticut Critics Award Nomination; Berkeley Rep, Theatre Bay Award); dance of the holy ghosts (Yale Rep); Breath and Imagination (ArtsEmerson); LMNOP (Goodspeed); Ambassador Satch (Dubai); The Women of Brewster (Helen Hayes Nomination), Polk County (Helen Hayes Nomination) and The Piano Lesson (Arena Stage); Reunion (Ford’s Theater – Helen Hayes Nomination); and Seven Guitars (Center Stage). Film: Winter’s Tale, Collateral Beauty. Television: “Welcome to the Wayne,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Rescue Me,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Law & Order.” BFA in Acting – Howard University “WGATAP!”


    Lynda has Broadway credits including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with James Earl Jones), Doubt (understudy), King Hedley II (understudy) and 45 Seconds from Broadway. Off-Broadway credits include This Flat Earth, Skeleton Crew (Drama League Nomination), The Hummingbird’s Tour, Zooman and the Sign, King Hedley II (AUDELCO Award), Miss Witherspoon and Intimate Apparel. Regional credits include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Arena Stage, GEVA, Indiana Rep), A Raisin in the Sun (Westport, GEVA, Hartford Stage—Connecticut Critics Circle Award), Crowns (Arena Stage—Helen Hayes Award), Second Stage (AUDELCO Award) and The Widow Lincoln (Ford’s Theatre). Her TV credits include “The Good Wife,” “30 Rock,” “Person of Interest,” all “Law & Orders,” “Elementary,” “Sex and the City” and “Odyssey.” Film: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (with Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell), Delivery Man and The Bounty Hunter, among others. Gravátt has three AUDELCO awards and a Distinguished Alumni award from her alma mater, Howard University. She is a founding faculty member of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. She is a member of all the performing unions and has participated in many festivals and summer theater programs: Sundance, Lincoln Center, Chautauqua and New York Theatre Workshop.


    On Broadway, Nedra appeared in Marvin’s Room at the Roundabout directed by Anne Kauffman. Off-Broadway credits include Adam Bock’s A Life and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns… (Playwrights Horizons), and Lost Lake (MTC). Regional: Good People (The Old Globe) and Fairfield (Cleveland Playhouse). Nedra recurs as Sylvia Guillen in upcoming Season 6 of “Orange Is the New Black” and on HBO in Terrence Nance’s “Random Acts of Flyness.” Other TV credits include “Jessica Jones,” “Bull,” “Elementary,” “Instinct,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Blue Bloods” and “30 Rock.”


    Marie Thomas recently returned from the Goodman Theatre in Chicago playing Sadie Delaney in Having Our Say. She played Nina Dubois in Charles Smith’s Knock Me a Kiss in New York at the New Federal Theater, the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, NC, and at Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. She received the Audelco Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Also at Crossroads Theater, she was Sister Moore in the Amen Corner and Dorabelle in The Disappearance with Ruby Dee. Other Theater credits include The Summer House at The Passage Theater in Trenton, NJ; Goneril in King Lear, starring Avery Brooks, at the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, Connecticut; Samm-Art William’s The Dance on Widow’s Row at the New Federal Theater in New York and The National Black Theater Festival. She was Pam in Richard Wesley’s, The Talented Tenth in New York and in Atlanta at the National Black Arts Festival. She received an Audelco Award for Best Actress for her performance of Pam and an Audelco nomination for her performance in An Evening with Josephine Baker Off-Broadway and at the National Black Arts Festival. She has appeared on Broadway in the musical Don’t Bother me I Can’t Cope and at Lincoln Center in The Duplex and Antigone. Television and film credits include “The Cosby Mysteries,” “L.A. Law,” “Knots Landing,” “Amen” and on the daytime dramas “The Doctors,” “One Life To Live,” “As The World Turns” and the film Hot Shots.


    Michelle Wilson is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the Pulitzer-Prize winning play Sweat. Wilson played long-time factory worker Cynthia, a role she originated off-Broadway at the Public Theatre before the show transitioned to Broadway with incredible reviews. In 2017, Sweat received three Tony award nominations including Best Play, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role for Wilson. Wilson’s other notable theater credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Detroit ’67, Follow Me to Nellie’s, Fahrenheit 451, Two Trains Running, The People Before the Park and more. Wilson also had memorable turns on the small screen in “The Good Fight,” “Blue Bloods” and “E.R.,” as well as in indie films Nehemiah, Sink and The Bicycle. Wilson can be seen next in the indie film The True Adventures of Wolfboy alongside Jaeden Lieberher and John Turturro. The film is currently in production.

Marcus Gardley / Playwright

Marcus Gardley is a screenwriter, TV writer and playwright who was the 2015 recipient of the Glickman Award for his play The House That Will Not Stand. It was commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep, had subsequent productions at Yale Rep, Victory Gardens and the Tricycle Theater in London and was a finalist for the 2015 Kennedy Prize. His three-part epic the road weeps, the well runs dry was also a finalist for the 2014 Kennedy Prize. Gardley was the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow and the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid-Career Playwright. The New Yorker describes Gardley as “the heir to García Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” He is an ensemble member and playwright-in-residence at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago where his plays The Gospel of Loving Kindness; An Issue of Blood; and A Wonder in My Soul have premiered and won numerous awards and critical acclaim. He holds a MFA from Yale Drama School and lives in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, he is working on a TV show for Showtime called “The Chi” and remounting and developing a new play with The Acting Company in New York.

Lileana Blain-Cruz / Director

Recent Projects: Suzan Lori-Parks’ The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre; Henry IV, Part One and Much Ado About Nothing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Bluest Eye at The Guthrie; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ War at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and Yale Repertory Theater; Alice Birch’s Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at Soho Rep; Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo at New York Theatre Workshop; SALOME at Jack; Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots at the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater; a new translation of The Bakkhai at the Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College; and A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with Jacobs-Jenkins and choreographer Isabel Lewis at Dance New Amsterdam. She was a 2050 Directing Fellow at NYTW, an Artistic Associate of The Exchange and The Orchard Project, a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and an Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Upcoming projects include Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline at Lincoln Center and Anna Ziegler’s Actually at the Williamstown Theater Festival.

Adam Rigg / Scenic Design

NYTW debut. Off-Broadway: Actually (MTC); Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, Is God Is (Soho Rep); O’Earth (The Foundry). Opera: Breaking the Waves (Opera Philadephia); Prism (LA Opera); Pelleas et Melisande (Cincinnati Symphony); Proving Up, Faust (Opera Omaha). Regional: Mark Taper, Guthrie, Seattle Rep, Yale Rep, OSF, Williamstown, Westport.

Montana Levi Blanco / Costume Design

NYTW: Red Speedo, Nat Turner in Jerusalem. Off-Broadway: The Death of the Last Black Man… (Lortel nom), In the Blood (Signature); He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (Obie Award, TFANA); Fairview, Is God Is (Soho Rep); Pipeline (Lincoln Center); Ghost Light, War (LCT3); Teenage Dick (The Public). MFA: Yale.

Yi Zhao / Lighting Design

NYTW: Red Speedo. Pipeline (LCT); Actually (MTC); Death of the Last Black Man…, In The Blood (Signature); Revolt. She Said…, FUTURITY (Soho Rep.). Regional: Guthrie, Mark Taper Forum, OSF, ACT, Yale Rep., Huntington, Berkeley Rep., Dallas Theater Center, Wilma. Opera: ArtsEmerson, Curtis Institute, Opera Omaha. Dance: Ballet de Lorraine.

Justin Ellington / Sound Design & Original Music

NYTW: The Seven, Fetch Clay Make Man. Broadway: Other Desert Cities. Off-Broadway: Pipeline (Lincoln Center); Pass Over (LCT3); He Brought Her Heart Back In A Box, Winter’s Tale (TFANA); The Pride (MCC). Regional: Guthrie Theatre, Alliance Theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre of London. Obie Award for Sound Design.

Cookie Jordan / Wig Design

NYTW: Sojourners & Her Portmanteau. Broadway: Once on This Island, Sunday in the Park with George, In Transit, Eclipsed, Side Show, After Midnight, Fela!, A View From the Bridge, South Pacific. Select Off-Broadway: Our Lady of 121st Street, In the Blood, The Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature Theatre). TV: Emmy nominated for Make-up Design for “The Wiz Live” (NBC).

Raja Feather Kelly / Movement

NYTW debut. FAIRVIEW (Soho Rep); I, I AM A DANCER, The Church of the Holy Glory (Ars Nova); Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen); Everybody, Signature Plays, The Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature). The feath3r theory (Artistic Director), 2017 Princess Grace Award, 2017 Soho Rep Directors Lab.

Dawn-Elin Fraser / Dialect & Vocal Coach

NYTW: An Ordinary Muslim, Sojourners & Her Portmanteau, Nat Turner in Jerusalem. Broadway: Once on this Island, Waitress, Finding Neverland. Off-Broadway: Barbeque, Our Lady of Kibeho, Invisible Thread. National Tour: Waitress, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Finding Neverland. Site Specific: Ragtime on Ellis Island. Head of Voice and Speech for New Studio on Broadway/NYU.

Terri K. Kohler / Stage Manager

NYTW: Red Speedo, Scenes From a Marriage, Belleville, The Black Eyed. New York: Fairview, Futurity, We are Proud…, Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep); In the Blood, The Death of the Last Black Man…, (Signature Theatre); Pretty Filthy, In the Footprint, Paris Commune, The Great Immensity (Civilians); Indecent (Vineyard). Usual Suspect (NYTW); Associate Artist, The Civilians.