Sea of Common Catastrophe
Conceived, Designed, and Directed by Jeff Becker
at the Irondale Center
85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn
Irondale is proud to present the New York premiere of Sea of Common Catastrophe, a surreal multimedia theater work that grapples with complicity in the face of rapid urban change. Designed and directed by Jeff Becker, who leads a team of fellow New Orleans-based artists, Sea of Common Catastrophe follows three long-time residents of a tiny seaside town whose lives are uprooted when a compelling stranger arrives. Inspired by a passage from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novella Sea of Lost Time— where a town drowns on a Sunday afternoon but persists, submerged in its daily life, as if the deluge had never occurred– Sea of Common Catastrophe uses spectacular lighting and video, live music, and an innovative two-story set to evoke a changing landscape of upscale living and chic restaurants that suddenly transforms into a magical sunken world.
Sea of Common Catastrophe is produced by ArtSpot Productions, a 23-year-old New Orleans-based company equally dedicated to social justice and original theater, and was developed, in part, through a deep consideration of the profound transformations that have swept through New Orleans for decades, examined their own roles and responsibilities in the realities of gentrification and displacement. The resulting work, Sea of Common Catastrophe, challenges its audience and its artists to consider the exploitations and the opportunities inherent in profound shifts of urban communities.
Utilizing a devised ensemble process, in which visual design elements drive the dramaturgy of the piece, the creative team for Sea of Common Catastrophe includes Courtney Egan (video design). Jeffrey Gunshol (choreography), Sean LaRocca (original music/sound design). Laura Faye Sirkin-Brown (costume design), and Evan Spigelman (lighting design.)
Sea of Common Catastrophe features lead performances by New Orleans-based performances including Adella Gautier, Jeffrey Gunshol, Kathy Randels, Lisa Moraschi Shattuck, and Mahalia Abeo Tibbs who will be joined by New York-based performers Amira Abdur-Raheem, Janis Russell, and Kendall Stirrup.
Performances of Sea of Common Catastrophe will take place June 15-30 at the Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn. Tickets, priced at $25 ($10 for previews, $15 students and seniors; Irondale Members 15% off with Code IEPMEM), can be purchased by visiting seaofcommoncatastrophe.org or by calling 866-811-411. Sea of Common Catastrophe runs 60 minutes with no intermission and is appropriate for audiences 8-years-old and up. Nearest subways include C train to Lafayette Ave; B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, or 5 trains to Atlantic Ave/Pacific St; or G Train to Fulton St.