EYE OF THE STORM: TALES FROM IKESep 10, 2013 12:28AM ● By SCENE MAGAZINE STAFF
For those of us in Harris and Galveston Counties who endured and survived Hurricane Ike, it is hard to believe that we are coming up on the fifth anniversary of this devastating storm.
Although we have now recovered, looking back can be painful unless we can find joy in the art forms that Ike left behind. For example, many of Galveston’s historic trees were turned into beautiful sculptures all along the island and many amazing art objects were made from recycled flotsam and jetsam and displayed and sold in galleries. Another art form commemorating Ike is a play that tells some of the stories of the hurricane, called “Eye of the Storm: Tales From Ike.”
Playwright Fernando Dovalina, a former newsman for the Houston Chronicle, uses his keen sense of comedic and dramatic storytelling to bring nine compelling and humanizing stories about one of the biggest and most devastating storms to hit the Texas Gulf Coast. This world premiere is produced by Cone Man Running Productions and directed by Steve Carpentier.
Many of the actors are from the Clear Lake area. The starring actors are Jada August, Danielle Bunch, Dolly Cruise, Danyell Davis, Barbara Dell, Jennifer Drummond, Elyse Freeman, Roy Hamlin, Brandon Hobratschk, Robert L. Jacobs Jr., Rebecca Johnson-Edgerly, Omar Lewis, Joseph Lockett, J.R. Marshall, Brandon Morgan, Justin Paul Mouton, Joyce Anastasia Murray, Megan Nix, C.J. Stafford and Autumn Woods.
Costumes are by Daryl Conner with sound design and original music by Justin Tyree. Light design is by Ron Putterman and choreography is by Mandy Seymore-Sensat.
The play can be seen at Studio 101, Spring Street Studios, Houston, 77007. The performance schedule is September 5 – 21.
The tickets are $15, or get a special discount if you buy advance tickets to both “Eye of the Storm” and “A Common Martyr” (pay only $25 for both plays).
There are the nine comedic and dramatic pieces in "Eye of the Storm: Tales from Hurricane Ike:"
• "Storms, They Can Make or Break You" - An SNL-type sketch in which six hurricanes, Carla, Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Ike and Sandy, fight over their effects on presidential politics.
• "Water Line"- A motley crew, including Missy, an angry woman who can't edit what comes out of her mouth, Julieta, a jaded Houston Chronicle reporter, and a bartender with a corrosive secret, all gather at a Seawall bar on the first anniversary of the storm's landfall. The exchanges are hilarious, heated and sometimes devastatingly heart-rending.
• "Val's Monologue” - A teenage drugged-out skateboarder and his best pal break into a beach home in Gilchrist hours before the storm destroys the town.
• "Until the Storm Passes" - A woman and her husband decide to ride out the storm in their Galveston home. Complication, he has been living as a woman for years, but only around his wife and a few close friends. Hours before the storm roars inland, a knock at their door blows the husband's cover and changes the couple's lives forever.
• "Collateral Damage"- Ana Maria and Pete own a Galveston Mexican restaurant devastated by Ike. But they soon discover that a bank's definition of collateral doesn't include the couple's most treasured asset.
• "A Bag of Ice"- Missy goes out for ice in Houston as Ike is about to strike, only to find that stores are sold out. Then in a seedy convenience store she finds the last surviving bag of ice in the city. But she's not the only one interested in the bag, and the clerk, a recent immigrant from India, has plans for the ice as well. "A Bag of Ice" examines our moral dilemmas in the face of disaster and unashamedly exploits our long-held racial, sexual and religious stereotypes.
• "Maggie's Monologue"- A dog tells a harrowing tale of survival after her owners' home collapses in the storm.
• "Water Line: Prequel to Sequel"- Missy resents her Latina housekeeper, Alma, whose electricity in the barrio has been restored, while she and her husband are facing a fast defrosting fridge. In the second half of the play, Julieta, the Chronicle reporter, and Harry, Missy's husband, tangle over Missy's racially charged language and discover that there's more to trees and human beings than first meets the eye.
• "Allison"- In a coda to the opening sketch, Hurricanes Carla, Katrina, Rita and Sandy dance, and a lowly intruder tries to persuade the audience that she is just as powerful as the other storms.
Find the time to go see this treasure from September 5-21. For tickets log on to www.eyeofthestorm.brownpapertickets.com or call 281-773-3642. It is a month to reflect. We count our blessings and our strength.
- Peggy “Domino” Taylor