BY: LEIGH FONDAKOWSKI
DIRECTED BY: CAITLIN KANE
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, FLEX THEATRE
APRIL 26 - MAY 4, 2019
Production photos by Rachel Philipson
On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig set off the largest marine oil spill in history. The blowout killed eleven workers, injured dozens of others, and caused lasting environmental and economic harm in the Gulf of Mexico. Nine years later, how has the oil industry and our reliance on fossil fuels changed? How do the stories of those directly affected help us to make sense of climate change and economic inequality? Developed from hundreds of interviews with survivors of the disaster and the families of those who lost their lives, SPILL explores the human stories behind the headlines.
In April 2019, I directed SPILL as the culminating production in the Department of Performing and Media Arts' mainstage season. With funding from Engaged Cornell, I brought Leigh Fondakowski to Ithaca for the first week of rehearsals, and we worked with the cast to do a final round of revisions on the script in preparation for our production and the script's forthcoming publication. Student actors, dramaturgs, assistant directors, and designers participated in the new play development process and had the opportunity to share their work with Fondakowski when she returned for the production's opening.
Rehearsal photos by Rachel Philipson