Katrina on Stage

Trade Paper – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2750-0
Publication Date
September 2011
Page Count
296 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Katrina on Stage

Five Plays

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast almost six years ago, in late August 2005, and while it was immediately known that the loss of life and damage were extensive, the full extent of both are ongoing and incalculable. The plays collected in this volume give artistic expression to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, especially at the level of individual lives forever altered. Besides telling the kinds of stories that the news media could not, these plays explore the deeply rooted problems plaguing New Orleans and illuminate many social, political, and environmental issues central to American life. The factual basis of these plays serves a documentary purpose, but, as drama, they personalize the events surrounding the storm, depicting unimaginable anguish, powerlessness, and displacement as well as courage, communal spirit, and activism. The plays collected here show how theater can both enhance our understanding of disastrous events and facilitate a sense of community between audiences and those who experienced them. The rich additional materials include interviews with the playwrights, an afterword by Aimée Hayes of the Southern Rep Theatre in New Orleans, and a bibliography of further reading.
About the Author

Suzanne M. Trauth is a Professor of Theatre at Montclair State University where she coordinates the B.F.A. Acting program. She directed Katrina: the K Word at Montclair State as well as staged readings of the play at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and Drew University. Ms. Trauth has produced and directed productions at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, the Whole Theatre, 12 Miles West, and TheatreFest. As part of a global initiative, she directed The Crucible for the Theatre-on-Podol in the Ukraine. She co-authored Sonia Moore and American Acting Training and Producing Musical Theatre, has written on acting theory and Soviet theatre, and served as Assistant Artistic Director of the Sonia Moore Studio in New York. 

Lisa S. Brenner received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Columbia University. Published articles include "Beyond Words: Producing Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue at the Galilee Multicultural Theatre." Theatre Topics (September, 2009) and "Blackface as Religious Expression-Job: The Hip-Hop Musical." Crosscurrents (November, 2003). She has worked as a professional dramaturg, including her work at Vital Theatre in New York City, garnering two OOBR Awards for Excellence. Taking Names, a play she co-wrote with three other playwrights, won "Best New Play" in the 2000 All Out Arts Festival in New York City. Lisa is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. In 2009, Drew granted her the Faculty Leadership Civic Engagement Award for her work on Katrina: the K Word, among other projects.