6 p.m.

Auburn Area Community Theatre presents a live performance of Water Spirits.

Following a reading of the play, join us for a conversation with playwright Alicia Kester and Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Auburn University.


Set in the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, Water Spirits is an original new work by playwright Alicia Kester that explores what happens when a young woman returns to New Orleans to discover that spirits are talking to her. This staged reading of the play is directed by Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at Auburn University, and produced by Auburn Area Community Theatre. Free and open to the public.


*This reading is presented in conversation with Kevin Brisco: Migratory Roots

Alicia Kester (she/her) is a Black, mixedrace playwright, poet, fiction writer, and filmmaker. She draws on both her Yoruba (Nigerian) and Louisiana Creole heritages as well as her queer, disabled, and firstgeneration identities to address themes of migration, familial constructs, tribalism, environmentalism, the physical and/or racialized body, and current events. She often explores speculative genres, infusing magical realism, absurdism, or futurism within mundane or hyperrealist contexts in her writing. She recently completed a residency with Monson Arts in Maine. In 2022 she completed a residency with 3G Theater that culminated in a staged reading of her play Water Spirits. In 2021 she completed a residency with the Cph Queer Theater Festival, where she wrote two short plays that were produced in Denmark. She is looking forward to an upcoming residency at The Hambidge Center in Georgia. Water Spirits was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference and the Garry Marshall Theater New Works Festival. She’s been published and is a former VONA scholar and a recipient of a grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, among others.

Andrea Holliday

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