directing a staged reading of Cottonwood in the Flood Saturday 11/4
a two-act drama about the African American experience in 1940s Oregon and the rapid rise – – and even more rapid fall – – of the city of Vanport
– by Rich Rubin, directed by Damaris Webb
– with students of Lewis & Clark College
Saturday, November 4th @ 2pm
Fir Acres Black Box Theatre, Lewis & Clark College
Free and open to the public
Cottonwood in the Flood tells the story of an African American family during the rise and fall of the newly built city of Vanport on the banks of the Columbia River north of Portland. In 1943 the population of Vanport swelled to nearly 40,000.
The family, along with other newly arrived shipyard workers struggle with the inherent racial, economic and cultural injustices, and as their hopes are raised and their dreams are dashed, the members of the family do their best to adjust to daily life in Vanport and grab hold of their fair slice of the American pie. On Memorial Day 1948, the entire city of Vanport is obliterated by a catastrophic flood of the Columbia River, an event that in several discomfiting respects presages the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina nearly six decades later.
The reading will be preceded by a screening of a short documentary based on oral history of the Vanport Flood by one of its survivors, Beatrice Gilmore. Additionally, Ms. Gilmore will partake in a panel discussion after the reading along with the playwright, Rich Rubin and Prof. James Stanely Harrison, who is currently working on a book about Vanport.
The event is made possible by the generous support of: Dean of Students and the Division of Student Life, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, The Ray Warren Symposium, Lewis & Clark Theatre Department.
The Vanport Mosaic is a community driven, artist-led, multi-disciplinary non-profit that produces, curates, and creates collaborations with storytellers, media makers, artists, historians, and educators to engage the public in remembering silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest to better understand our present. – Co-Directors Laura Lo Forti & Damaris Webb