JORT’S Katrina Project Revival opens Friday night at HHS

JORT’S Katrina Project Revival opens Friday night at HHS

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from JORT

The revival of The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water is set to open Friday night at Hattiesburg High School Auditorium in a joint effort with Just Over the rainbow Theatre and Hattiesburg Public Schools.

According to Katrina Assistant Director for Services Kristi Godbolt, patrons will want to come 30 minutes early to witness a couple of free activities:

The Emergency Preparedness Information Mall will open 30 minutes prior to curtain for each of the performance, scheduled for August 7-9.  Headquartered in the HHS Library.  City of Hattiesburg First Responders,  Arts Trauma Advocate Ivey Swan, Red Cross, United Blood Services, Forrest County EOC, AAA Ambulance, Southern Miss Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, Linda Van Zandt of Sound Seed productions, West Nile Educator Sandra Jordan and Forrest General Department of Public Safety/Smart911 Technology.  These agencies are a few of the folks who will continue educating the Pine Belt regarding disaster preparedness.

A pre-show video featuring Katrina survivor stories from 2005 will be presented on the big screen inside the auditorium 30 minutes before each live cast performance.  This effort is being coordinated by Southern Miss Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage in conjunction with Sound Seed Productions.  The video will be followed by a short feature that details how the original Katrina Project was put together.  The Center is also providing a souvenir Katrina Survivor DVD to every patron who attends the show.

In addition to coming early, Katrina Assistant Director for Stage April Tindall encourages patrons to stay late (come to additional free activities):

Saturday morning, August 8, will see the presentation of two Hattiesburg Public School District Funded Workshops, allowing for The Katrina cast and crew, to engage with HPSD students and staff.  From 10-11 am on Saturday morning in the HHS Playhouse, there will be a master class and staff development presented focusing on graduation rates and on using the arts as Therapy in times of disaster.  Presenters will include State Photographer of the Year Matt Bush, America's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Michael Marks, American Idol Finalist and Miss Mississippi 2014 Jasmine Murray, X Factor Finalist Greg Spencer, Arts Advocate and Miss Hattiesburg 2015 Ivey Swan and On Your Toes Dance Company Director Torrey Holland.

From 11 am until noon on Saturday morning in the HHS Playhouse, there will be a master class and staff development session presented using Tiger Alums who have significant arts careers and have come home to give back through this production.  The session is called "Katrina Across the Curriculum" and will focus on graduation rates and using the story of Hurricane Katrina to infuse arts education in every academic area of the curriculum.  Presenters will include HHS Alums: Southern Miss Assistant Professor of Classics and Film Miles Doleac, Southern Miss MBA Kristi Godbolt, Blue man Group performer Clifton Hyde, Washington DC-based Equity Actor Jonathan Lee Taylor, The Hollow Star Joe Van Zandt and reality television star Reese Allbritton.

Sunday afternoon, August 9, Hattiesburg Arts Council will host a disaster photo exhibit at The Hattiesburg Cultural Center.  This exhibit will feature local artists, many of whom are HHS staff alums, and will also serve as the city's official reception for Katrina Cast and Crew.  The event is free to the public.  Artists included in the exhibit are matt Bush, Steve Coleman, Sound Seed Productions, USM Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, Patrick Lowery, Brent Wallace, Mary Alice Weeks, Eli Bayliss, Myra Meade and Dinny St. John.  The "Get Downtown" exhibit will feature selected pieces from The HAC Katrina collection as well.  Refreshments will be provided.  The exhibit/reception follows the 2 pm Sunday Katrina performance at HHS.

Professional Staff for the show include:  Director/Producer Michael Marks,  Director of HHS Forensics Scott Waldrop, Assistant Director for Services Kristi Godbolt, Assistant Director for Stage April Tindall, Technical Director Chris Wooten, Director of Music Clifton Hyde, Director of Vocal Music Tito Lanier, Stage Manager Jeremy Lilly and Box Office Lucy Shows.  Sound will be handled by Stephen Smith; Lights Chris Perimeter; Makeup Judyth Daley.

Backstage and House duties fall to Tamara Myles, Tamaira Mizett, Theresa Bethe, J'keh Wilson, Caleb Graham, Josiah Mansfield and Jackson Hartung.

Curtain is at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 7 and Saturday August 8, with a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, August 9.  All tickets are general admission.  There are no individual seat reservations. However, tickets can be purchased in advance for early preferred seating.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door (but no early preferred seating).  Season ticket holder/member tickets are free, tickets mailed to you in advance.  Theatre patrons who want to purchase tickets for the disaster benefit show have several options.  Adult tickets are $12 and student tickets are $6.  For ticket reservations go online to or call 601-583-7778.