MANHATTAN THEATRE WORKS (MTWorks), in association with the Theater Series at the 14th Street Y, is pleased to announce the world premiere of MTWorks Co-Artistic Director David Stallings’ DARK WATER, directed by Heather Cohn. DARK WATER, a play about the ramifications of the Gulf oil spill, will play a three week engagement at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street at 1st Avenue). Performances begin Friday, March 14 and continue through Saturday, March 29. Opening Night is Monday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets now on sale at

Award-winning playwright Stallings was “inspired from the many emotions that raged through me after the 2010 Louisiana oil spill. DARK WATER takes place mostly underwater and with animals as the primary characters, because I feel they are the true victims. The other victim being the environment, which we as a human race abuse without remorse. The earth does not belong to humans alone, we share her resources with other living beings.

The allegory in DARK WATER involves the animals, dealing with the tragedy, acting as humans do: dividing land amongst themselves, drawing lines where other animals cannot pass, exhibiting forms of racism and abusing religion to promote self-power. One animal in particular, a seagull named Gullet, kills more than he can eat in order to hoard food for himself. He has learned this from watching the humans. On the other hand, Daedalus the dolphin, does not blame humans and is in fact in love with a rescuer whom he wishes could help more with the spill. Like every good story there is love and there is hope–like that of turtles Weed & Foam and frogs Lily & Pad. The true heart of the play is Barnacle the turtle, who is seeking shelter for her children. We follow her through the depths of the gulf as she is aided and misguided by other animals.”

In DARK WATER, the swampland of Louisiana is hit with the most massive oil spill known to history. Barnacle, an old sea turtle, fights against man’s destruction, nature’s wrath, and her enemies of the wild to save her children trapped in the spill. Poetry, allegory, music, puppetry and movement create this magical world as the animals of Louisiana face the ultimate threat to their lives.

The effects of the Gulf oil spill among other spills continue to jeopardize our oceans. DARK WATER humanizes the animals affected by the spill giving a voice to the true defenseless victims. The play also deals with other poignant issues such as immigration, religion and politics.

DARK WATER plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 2 p.m. from Friday, March 14 through Saturday, March 29. There is an additional opening night performance on Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

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