Until the Flood
by and with Dael Orlandersmith
Director: Neel Keller
On 9 August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot 12 times and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. Protests and demonstrations against racist police violence followed, the US National Guard was dispatched to Ferguson and nighttime curfews were imposed. After Darren Wilson was acquitted in November of the same year, further protests ensued in Ferguson and across America. American actor and author Dael Orlandersmith conducted dozens of interviews with residents of Ferguson and, from these, created eight characters: Louisa, a retired teacher; Rusty, a retired police officer; Hassan, a schoolboy dreaming of a different life; Connie, a teacher; Reuben, a hairdresser who firmly believes in fairness; Dougray, an affluent electrician who has left his poor childhood far behind; Paul, a young man still in high school who wants to study at Berkeley; and Edna, a preacher who believes in the power of prayer. Black, white, male, female, young, old – Dael Orlandersmith uses a few gestures and props to transform herself into these very different people on stage and invites us to share in their lives, their struggles and their dreams. »Until the Flood« does not examine whether police officer Darren Wilson had to defend himself, and therefore acted lawfully, or not. Instead, it explores what the death of Michael Brown means for the residents of the city and investigates the complex mecha nisms of racism and power in the USA today.
Set Designer: Takeshi Kata
Lighting Designer: Mary Louise Geiger
Costume Designer: Kaye Voyce
Composer and Sound Designer: Justin Ellington
Projection Designer: Nicholas Hussong
Originally Commissioned and Produced by THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS Steven Woolf, Artistic Director Mark Bernstein, Managing Director.