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Dael Orlandersmith’s Until The Flood at Traverse Theatre


Arcola Theatre has announced the European première of Until The Flood, written and performed by Pulitzer Prize nominee Dael Orlandersmith. The production, directed by Neel Keller, will be the first by Arcola Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival. It opens at the Traverse Theatre on 2 August and runs until 24 August. It then transfers to Arcola Theatre, London, opening on 6 September and running until 28 September.

On August 9, 2014 a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled by the activist movement known as Black Lives Matter, and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Dael Orlandersmith conducted interviews with dozens of people who were shaken by the shooting and its turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, she has created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these complex events.

Until The Flood explores the dark forces of American history, race and politics that exploded in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri and sent shock waves across the nation.  Dael Orlandersmith is a playwright, poet, actor, teacher and Pulitzer Prize nominee for her play Yellowman. Until The Flood was commissioned by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and played at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Goodman Theatre, ACT and Portland Center Stage. Her writing credits for theatre include Forever (US tour/Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Horsedreams (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Bones (Kirk Douglas Theatre), Suicide Girlz, Stoop Stories (Atlantic Theatre), The Blue Album (The Long Wharf), The Gimmick (Pegasus Theatre Chicago) and Beauty’s Daughter (American Blues Theater).

Neel Keller is associate Artistic Director at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. His theatre credits include Office Hour (South Coast Repertory), Quack, different words for the same thing (Kirk Douglas Theatre), The Nether (Goodman Theatre) and Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up (Claire Tow Theater).

Arcola Theatre is one of London’s leading off-West End theatres. In our two performance spaces, we stage a diverse programme of plays and musicals, as well as our annual Grimeborn opera festival. Over 65,000 people see our shows each year. Our vision is of a genuinely radical theatre: constantly reinventing itself to respond to, interpret and have relevance to our ever-changing world. We strive to produce socially- and politically-engaged work which reaches out to new audiences, alters perspectives, and brings positive change to people’s lives. We do this with some of the most exciting theatre artists in the UK and internationally, while also enabling the next generation. Our Playwrought scheme provides readings and development for some of the best new writing, Arcola Lab offers 26 weeks of free rehearsal space a year to diverse artists, and Arcola Academy empowers young people to build their futures with, and in, the arts. Arcola Participation creates over 13,500 creative opportunities every year for the people of Hackney and beyond – including through Arcola’s youth theatres, courses, and pioneering LGBTQ+, Womens’, Turkish, 50+ and Mental Health community theatre companies. Our environmental sustainability initiatives (developed with our sister company Arcola Energy) are internationally renowned, and aim to make Arcola the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.

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