"“Summoning up deeply set, perhaps nearly forgotten, feelings of anger, regret, and sorrow, but also hope and humor. . . [Biguenet’s trilogy] may well be regarded as the finest artistic achievement expressing the personal impact the flood had—and continues to have—on our lives today.”—Nola.com / The Times-Picayune
Widely praised by critics and hailed by audiences, the award-winning plays in John Biguenet’s The Rising Water Trilogy examine the emotional toll of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Approaching the storm, the levee collapse, and subsequent socioeconomic catastrophe through the lives of three couples and their families, Biguenet conveys insights into the universal nature of trauma and feelings of loss with heart-wrenching intimacy and palliative humor.
Each play—Rising Water, Shotgun, and Mold—incorporates the structure of a house as it examines the anatomy of love, moving from the hours just after the levees’ collapse to four months into the flood’s chaotic aftermath—and then to a year later when a family returns to their now mold-encrusted home. In aggregate, these plays employ the seemingly simple act of living together to examine questions of what home truly means. Biguenet also delves into the consequences of living in a city wracked by catastrophe and long-simmering racial tensions, yet so beloved by its inhabitants that even decades of federal neglect and municipal mismanagement cannot erase their emotional attachment to the place and to each other.
An O. Henry Award winner, John Biguenet is the author of seven books, including The Torturerís Apprentice: Stories
and Oyster: A Novel
, as well as six award-winning plays. Named its first guest columnist by the New York Times
, Biguenet chronicled in both columns and videos his return to New Orleans after its flooding in 2005. Past president of the American Literary Translators Association, he is the Robert Hunter Distinguished University Professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.
George Judy, the Gresdna A. Doty Professor at LSUís College of Music & Dramatic Arts, serves as artistic director at Swine Palace Productions.
Praise for The Rising Water Trilogy
“The political context associated with the levee breach—the failure of a government reaction and corruption on every level, including that of Home Depot and other private contractors—is presented through relatable, real characters in a way that acts as a call to action for the audience. Biguenet calls upon his audience to sympathize with all victims and survivors of the levee breach while asking the same audience to never let the government or any institution abuse citizens in this way again.”—Arkansas Review