Victory Gardens Theater ends its 2021/2022 main-stage season with the compelling and highly publicized issues surrounding Flint Michigan’s water crisis in this drama titled Cullud Wattah, written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Cullud Wattah runs through July 17, 2022, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.
For decades, African – Americans have faced many disparities. The Flint Michigan Water issue is a fight that continues to this day. Cullud Wattah gives one family’s ordeal during the Flint Michigan Water Crisis, which gained national attention on April 25, 2014. This story takes place two and a half years after residents of the fifth ward continued to wait for the government to resolve the city’s contaminated water issue.
Marion (Brianna Buckley) is the mother of two daughters, Reesee (Ireon Roach) and Plum (Demetra Dee). She also carries the burden of being the sole breadwinner and caring for Big Ma (Renee’ Lockett) and her pregnant sister Aniee (Sydney Charles).
Marion struggles daily to ensure her family has the resources to sustain themselves during the water crisis. She works at GM motor company, which is suspected of being the root of the problem. Marion believes her problems are solved when GM offers her a promotion. She sees it as a way out for her family, but it comes with a hefty price. Marion chooses to keep the company’s secrets while sacrificing herself and her family.
In life, we must all make choices. Sometimes we make the wrong decisions, hoping for a better outcome. Sometimes, fear causes us to kowtow to those we believe are in control of our destiny. If we do not stand for truth, we fall prey to the systematic injustices that continue to plague our people. Ultimately, if we do not stand up and demand our rights, we fail ourselves and those we love.
There are many things I can say about this production. I loved everything about it. Erika Dickerson – Despenza is a dynamic writer. The story was poetic. The delivery of the message was outstanding. The acting was believable, and the actors connected with the audience, bringing many to tears. Cullud Wattah is by far my favorite production this year. I highly recommend this production. Tickets are on sale now and available by phone at 773.871.3000 or online
Photos by Liz Lauren