Katrina Project revival to premier at 10th anniversary

Katrina Project revival to premier at 10th anniversary

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Ten years later an emotional journey into the hearts and souls of Hurricane Katrina's survivors, The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water, written by Michael Marks and Mackenzie Westmoreland, is getting its second wind this summer. The Katrina Project is based on actual interviews, collected stories, and found texts, providing a voice for the greatest natural disaster in America's recorded history.

The play follows a diverse group of characters as they reflect on and experience the devastation, heartbreak, anger, and ultimately, hope of the thousands affected by the Category 5 storm. The play enjoyed a successful run in 2005, winning Mississippi Theatre Association's State Drama Festival championship, national first runner-up honors, and enjoyed a command performance before congress in Washington, DC.

In addition, the production generated (and continues to do so via designated royalties) over $288 thousand in relief monies for disaster victims. The play continues to be performed around the world with recent performances in Australia and Canada. "Personally, I would love to see the show go up again locally as a painful reminder of our history. Several nuances could be included this time: History Curriculum relevance, original music composed by Mississippians currently working on Broadway, and possible inclusion of scenes originally left out because of time limitations are a few considerations," said Marks. "Not to mention the possibility of granting opportunities to travel with the show, particularly to the Mississippi Coast and New Orleans areas where we deemed that conditions were just too raw to mount the production last time around."

"There are lessons to be learned by an entire new generation," adds Miles Doleac who returned to his alma mater to serve as artistic liaison during the 2005 staging of the docudrama at Hattiesburg High School. HHS' Scott Waldrop adds, "The show was only part of the mission. This was a community service project of epic proportions. Our high school theatre literally became a distribution warehouse to cities south of us. Producing the show again here at HHS is an option that is certainly not out of the question. Obviously, we are looking to partner with the community to make this revival effort happen."

According to JORT President Irene Waites, the revival production is slated to open Just Over the Rainbow Theatre's 2015-16 Season. "We hope to continue this year's successful partnership with Hattiesburg Public Schools." Auditions for THE KATRINA PROJECT will be held May 18 and 19 at Hattiesburg High School, with show dates Aug. 7-9. The 6:30 pm auditions are open to the public.

For more information, contact Michael Marks at mmarks601@gmail.com.