University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
Jan 19-28
7 Stages Theatre
Atlanta, GA
Feb 2-12

Inspired by a passage from Gabriel García Márquez's novella Sea of Lost Time—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 follows the journey of four companions as they wade through a continually changing landscape of upscale living and chic restaurants built upon the fragments of their own displaced communities.

Sea of Common Catastrophe was developed in part by deep consideration of the profound transformations that have swept through New Orleans in the decade since Hurricane Katrina, and of our own roles and responsibilities as artists in the realities of gentrification and displacement.

Utilizing a devised ensemble process in which visual design elements drive the dramaturgy of the piece, Jeff Becker's sculptural innovation, Courtney Egan's magical video projections, Jeffrey Gunshol's liquid choreography and ArtSpot's physical performance-making style and original music create a dream-world imagining of a community inundated by a flood of change and upheaval.

Sea of Common Catastrophe was conceived, directed and designed by Jeff Becker, and is created and performed by Jeffrey Gunshol, Kathy Randels, Lisa Shattuck and Mahalia Abéo Tibbs, with video design by Courtney Egan, lighting design by Evan Spigelman, music direction by Sean LaRocca, costumes by Laura Sirkin-Brown, and a special appearance by Adella Gautier.  Technical direction by Jo Nazro; stage management by Rebecca McLaughlin.

They went down very deep, to where the light of the sun and then the light of the sea stopped, and things were only visible in their own light.  They passed a submerged village, with men and women on horseback turning about a musical carousel.  It was a splendid day, and there were brightly colored flowers on the terraces.  “Here a Sunday sank at about eleven o'clock in the morning,” Mr. Herbert said.  “It must have been some cataclysm.”
— Gabriel García Márquez

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Sea of Common Catastrophe is: made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; a project of Creative Capital; and a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by 7 Stages of Atlanta in partnership with JEMAGWGA and NPN.  Additional support by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as administered through the Arts Council of New Orleans.