New Orleans premiere features alumna’s story

October 21, 2014 8:45 AM

New Wave staff


“As an artist, I soak up information, and then want to translate it through my own medium and make it a little more communicative to the viewer.”

Michel Varisco, photographer and alumna

Michel Varisco’s story is featured prominently in Water ±, a unique mix of journalism and theater that will debut in New Orleans on Saturday (Oct. 25). A large section of the script is based on work documenting Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands that was conducted by Varisco, who received a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Tulane University in 1995.

In the innovative show that will be staged at the Saenger Theatre, two hosts will introduce global stories of water, from Louisiana’s coast washing away, to immigrants desperately seeking water as they cross borders, to an American learning to be frugal with water in Ethiopia. 

On the journalism side, the show features NPR’s Michele Norris and Eve Troeh, news director of WWNO radio in New Orleans. There’s Broadway talent, too. Water ± director Kenny Leon is fresh off a Tony Award win for A Raisin in the Sun. Anika Noni Rose, also a Tony winner for Raisin, plays a major role. New Orleanians may know Rose best as the voice of Tiana in Disney’s New Orleans–set The Princess and the Frog.

“I am excited to work with NPR Presents on this meaningful and highly relevant undertaking,” said Leon. “Theater has the ability to illuminate the human experience in a way that is unique, vital and authentic. Our goal is to allow Water ± to showcase our shared humanity, our shared challenges across the U.S. and the globe.”

It is fitting that the premiere of the show will be held at the historic Saenger Theatre, “which reopened after its own dramatic water story post–Hurricane Katrina,” said Indira Etwaroo, executive producer and director of NPR Presents.

Water ± host WWNO radio is offering $10 student tickets online for the New Orleans premiere, which is launching a national tour.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu