BP Oil Spill-Inspired Play, SPILL, Premieres at LSU's Reilly Theatre Tonight

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BP Oil Spill-Inspired Play, SPILL, Premieres at LSU's Reilly Theatre Tonight

Swine Palace (Reilly Theatre, Tower Drive - LSU Campus) will produce the world premiere of Leigh Fondakowski's SPILL, which will play today, March 12-30, 2014. SPILL is a multimedia play inspired by the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill, the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The project is the co-creation of playwright/director Leigh Fondakowski and visual artist Reeva Wortel and is based on interviews, photographs and court documents collected in the aftermath of the spill.

SPILL tells the dramatic story of the 2010 explosion on board the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, and the devastating impact of the 87-day spill on the coastal communities and marine life of Louisiana.

Within months of the disaster, the artists began speaking with a broad array of Louisiana citizens, including fishermen, political figures, cleanup workers, scientists, oil industry workers, and the families of those lost in the explosion. As they collected over 200 hours of stories and interviews, Wortel painted portraits of each interviewee. The play will premiere in conjunction with an art installation of these portraits.

SPILL explores the rich culture of Louisiana and the resilient nature of its inhabitants in the face of natural destruction and tragedy. The stories of the individuals, families, and communities whose history and daily lives are inextricably tied to the Bayou and the oil industry come to life in ways never before seen on stage. Through these poignant and deeply personal stories, Louisiana becomes a mirror of where we are as a society and a global community as we face the most important environmental, economic, and energy policy decisions of our time. Expressing the fundamental story of man versus nature, at the core of SPILL is the question: What is the true human and environmental cost of oil?

Leigh Fondakowski was the head writer of The Laramie Project and has been a member of the Tectonic Theatre Project since 1995. Fondakowski believes that "our task as theatre artists is to expand the boundaries of what is possible on stage and to make the work that does what the medium does best. We believe in a theatre that addresses the important social and human issues that affect us all." As Fondakowski notes, after the well was capped on July 15, 2010, the rest of the world assumed that the story was over. The BP oil spill disaster was one of the most significant events of our generation and SPILL captures the true legacy of this crisis in the voices of the people who lived it.

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