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Loyola Professor Releases “The Rising Water Trilogy”

Loyola press release - August 25, 2015

Award-winning playwright John Biguenet examines the emotional toll of Katrina

Loyola English professor releases book ‘The Rising Water Trilogy’

Following Hurricane Katrina, Loyola University New Orleans English professor John Biguenet wrote three award-winning plays that examined the emotional toll of the flood and its aftermath. Those three plays, “Rising Water,” “Shotgun,” and “Mold,” are now available as a collection in “The Rising Water Trilogy,” published this month by LSU Press.

Biguenet will read selections from the trilogy at 6 pm. on Thursday, August 27, at the Garden District Book Shop, located at 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

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.

Widely praised by critics and hailed by audiences, the plays in Biguenet’s “The Rising Water Trilogy” examine 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.

“Rising Water” was the winner of the 2006 National New Play Network Commission Award, a 2006 National Showcase of New Plays selection, and a 2007 recipient of an Access to Artistic Excellence development and production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. “Shotgun” was awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Continued Life of New Plays Fund award by the National New Play Network in 2009. “Mold” was a 2013 nominee for the American Theatre Critics Association’s ATCA/Steinberg Award for best new American play premiering outside New York.

An O. Henry Award winner, Biguenet is the author of seven books, including “The Torturer’s 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 and the efforts to rebuild the city.

Biguenet recently shared his insights with Nola.com on how the flood and its aftermath informed his work.