The Playwright: Erika Dickerson-Despenza
The Play: cullud wattah
It’s been 936 days since Flint has had clean water. Marion, a third generation General Motors employee, is consumed by layoffs at the engine plant. When her sister, Ainee, seeks justice & restitution for lead poisoning, her plan reveals the toxic entanglements between the city & its most powerful industry, forcing their family to confront the past-present-future cost of survival. As lead seeps into their home & their bodies, corrosive memories & secrets rise among them. Will this family ever be able to filter out the truth?
cullud wattah was developed during the Lark Play Development Center's 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship tenure (John Clinton Eisner, Artistic Director) & received its first staged reading in October 2018 at Jackalope Theatre in Chicago (Gus Menary, Artistic Director; Nora Leahy, Managing Director). cullud wattah received a Public Studio workshop production March 7 – 10, 2019 at The Public Theater, where it was slated to have its world premiere in July 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director). The regional premiere of cullud wattah is scheduled for an April 2021 premiere at Victory Gardens Theater (Roxanna Conner, Managing Director).
6 years later: Where things stand in the Flint water crisis:
Residents still scared to drink water