Katrina-Inspired Hell and High Water Gets World Premiere in NYC April 1 | Playbill

News Katrina-Inspired Hell and High Water Gets World Premiere in NYC April 1
Jamuna Yvette Sirker's Hell and High Water, or Lessons for When the Sky Falls, directed and produced by Lorca Peress, begins a world-premiere run in Manhattan April 1. Performances play to April 18.

The play — inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina — is presented by MultiStages, the "multidisciplinary multicultural" theatre company committed to developing new work. Peress is the company's artistic director.

Hell and High Water… is the winner of the 2009 MultiStages New Works Contest. Opening night is April 3.


The play is billed as "a poignant and sharply satiric account of the playwright's experiences during Hurricane Katrina. Poetic, brutal and surprisingly funny, the story is told from the perspective of Sirker's alter-ego, Teacher Alice, who journeys through the abyss of sudden homelessness. Mixing theatrical elements, as one would mix paint on canvas, Sirker creates a colorful array of New Orleans characters, which include an ethereal Bag Lady spirit guide who shows her how to navigate through hell and high water, and Katrina-Hiroshima, a Mardi Gras drag queen. Ms. Sirker weaves the historical and political along with farcical and surreal elements while exploring the psychological impact of loss and displacement. This new work includes multimedia, poetry, dance and New Orleans music."

The cast features Richarda Abrams, Frances Chewning, Ross DeGraw, Joyce Griffen, Cary Hite, Russell Jordan, Anna Lamadrid, Frederick Mayer and Paul Christian Mischeshin. Jaki Silver is associate producer. The creative team includes Drama Desk Award-winning projection designer Jan Hartley, lighting designer Alex Moore, sound designer Josh Allen and choreographer Jennifer Chin.

Hell and High Water… was developed by the Drilling Company and was presented as a staged reading by the Lark Theatre Company. Hell and High Water, or Lessons for When the Sky Falls will play the Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 W. 26th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

For tickets and further details call Smarttix at (212) 868-4444, or visit www.smarttix.com.

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