Gulf Restoration Network is proud to partner with the regional premiere of "Yellow Eyed Creatures," a theatre production which will be staged outdoors in New Orleans City Park in November. A modern retelling of the Genesis myth set in the swamps of Louisiana, "Yellow Eyed Creatures" unearths a new interpretation of humanity’s bond with nature and the need to protect our wild places.
Below we’ve interviewed Ariadne Blayde, the play’s award-winning author, about her writing process and the play’s environmental themes.
GRN: Tell us more about “Yellow Eyed Creatures.” What’s the production about?
Ariadne Blayde: Part parable, part coming-of-age story, “Yellow Eyed Creatures” is about two teenage girls who’ve lived their whole lives in the wild. When a boy their age arrives from the outside world, the allure of civilization becomes very tempting, and they must ultimately decide whether or not to forsake the beautiful swamp of their origin in favor of a new, more complicated life in the human world.
GRN: And it’s being staged outdoors?
AB: The show is being performed at Grow Dat Youth Farm, which is in one of the most natural, wild parts of City Park. We have an absolutely beautiful spot in front of the bayou. The centerpiece of our set is an ancient live oak tree, which the actors climb during the show. I wrote this play years ago and have always dreamed of having the opportunity to perform it in a natural setting like this.
GRN: What inspired you to write the play?
AB: I’ve always been a conservationist, and feel a very strong connection with the natural world. I think sometimes we forget how deeply our humanity is tied to the earth and nature, and that’s what this play explores. A very dominant theme in western literature is that of “man vs. nature,” and I think that’s a story that needs to be rewritten. “Yellow Eyed Creatures” explores what humans and nature have in common, rather than what sets us apart.
GRN: How does “Yellow Eyed Creatures” connect to the work we do at Gulf Restoration Network and the gulf’s environment?
AB: The play is very deeply rooted in the wetlands of southeastern Louisiana, and wetlands obviously have a very important impact on coastal health. Through “Yellow Eyed Creatures” I hope to bring awareness to the alarming speed at which we are losing our coastal wetlands here in Louisiana. I believe that anyone who sees this production will be instantly struck by the beauty of our natural setting, and hopefully be inspired to protect the other wild places like it.
Yellow Eyed Creatures runs Nov 14-Nov 22, on Saturdays and Sundays with performances at 12:00 and 3:00 pm. Tickets and more information are available at www.yelloweyedcreatures.com