July 9, 2019—ITHACA, NY—The premiere of a new musical about Hurricane Katrina, written by two Ithacans, is opening at the Kitchen Theatre on August 2, with a preview on August 1. Katrina, A New Musical, by book writer Liz Bauman and composer David Frumkin, is being presented by Walking on Water Productions (WoW). Katrina tells the story of fictional characters living in New Orleans who struggle with the storm and subsequent flooding, made so much worse by the government’s slow response and the racial and economic divides in that city.
“This is a big show with 13 talented cast members and a six-piece band performing 25 original musical numbers,” says Priscilla Hummel, founder and producing artistic director of WoW and director/choreographer of Katrina. “The show is based on actual news reports and events, with the fictional characters making the story evocative and emotionally moving.”
Katrina stars Cynthia Henderson and Bernie Sheredy—members of Actors Equity Association— and features Adara Alston, Andrew Hudson-Sabens, Grace Traore, and Jaime Warburton with ensemble members Emily Aviles, Sirus Desnoes, Joshua Dykes, London McDaniel, Kimmi Neuschulz, Alek Osinski, and Karen Veaner.
The creative team includes Benjamin Stevens as music director, Anna Marcus-Hecht as orchestrator, Patti Goebel as scenic designer and technical director, Lea Davis as lighting designer, Dana Harris as costume designer, Rob Natoli as sound designer, and Elias Husiak as assistant director/assistant music director. The production team includes assistant technical director Julie Bacorn, assistant stage manager Christine Fanourakis, and production stage manager Jamie Dye.
Performances for Katrina, A New Musical are August 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9, 10, 11. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances start at 7:30 pm. Sunday matinees are at 3:00 pm; a talkback will follow the performance on Sunday, August 4. Tickets are general admission and available at walkingonwaterproductions.org or at the Kitchen Theatre’s box office before the shows or by calling 607-272-0570. These performances are part of the Kitchen Theatre Company’s Kitchen Sink Series, which is supported in part by CFCU.
Hummel gives this short synopsis of the plot: Hurricane Katrina is barreling toward the Gulf, bringing chaos and calamity. Sam’s and Violet’s romance is on the rocks just when they really need each other. They, their families, and friends face the raging waters of natural disaster, personal tragedy, racism, and politics. Although powerful people leave devastation in their wake, ordinary folks rise to the challenge, and the indomitable spirit of the Crescent City survives.
Walking on Water Productions (WoW) is a not-for-profit musical theatre company in its third season. Past productions include Godspell (2017) and The Fantasticks (2018). WoW’s mission is to present engaging, entertaining, and elevating works that stimulate the senses, intrigue the mind, woo the heart, and anchor the soul. For more information, please visit walkingonwaterproductions.org.