Playhouse on the Square Addresses Dementia with World Premiere

Playhouse on the Square, in partnership with NewWorks@TheWorks series sponsor, Gene and Carol Katz, and super sponsor Dr. Thomas Ratliff, are excited to present the world premiere of The Goodbye Levee, an audience interactive comedy facing mental health head on.

A devastating diagnosis compels Celeste Banks to invite the audience into her confidence as she hosts a “Goodbye Party.”  Due to her erratic memory and hallucinatory interruptions, her party turns into chaotic and sometimes comic events that threaten to upend her family and the control she so desperately desires to retain.

The Goodbye Levee is the winner of the 2020 NewWorks@TheWorks National Playwriting Competition hosted annually by Playhouse on the Square.  The competition was established in 2013 to renew the theatre’s focus on cultivating new and original theatre. Playwrights are invited to submit their scripts beginning in January each year. A panel of local directors, actors, and designers carefully select six plays to be part of a staged reading series. Of those six plays, two are chosen to be fully produced as part of an upcoming season to be presented onstage and streamed nationwide.

Past NewWorks@TheWorks winner, Byhalia, Mississippi by Evan Linder has reached critical acclaim.  The play was last performed at The Kennedy Center starring ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder actor Jack Falahee.

Returning to the Playhouse on the Square stage is Memphis Theatre veteran Anne Marie Caskey as Celeste. Memphis theatre favorite, Caroline Simpson (Days of Rage, When We Get Good Again) plays daughter Audrey.  Directing the new work is veteran director, Irene Crist (St. Paulie’s Delight, Sweat).

The Goodbye Levee’s poignant and timely subject matter deals with the effects dementia and other mental health diagnoses have on those diagnosed and their families or caretakers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million individuals. The countless number of lives affected by this disease continues to increase.  While there is currently no cure, early detection allows patients to receive mitigating care and treatments to prolong its onset.

After Sunday matinee performances, Playhouse on the Square will host a series of talkback panel discussions with the cast and medical professionals. Health screenings will also be available during select performances.  Visit the theatre website for more information on those dates and times.

Tickets are available now online or by calling the box office, (901) 726-4656.


Written by: Mike Solomonson

Running January 14 – 30, 2022

TheatreWorks at the Square

Overton Square Performing Arts District

2085 Monroe Avenue

Memphis, TN 38104

The Goodbye Levee

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.