Recipient of a SPARK Collaborative grant and an ArTech Fusion grant from the College of the Arts, faculty and students from UL's School of Music and Performing Arts, School of Architecture and Design and the College of Liberal Arts worked together on a site-specific performance entitled "Paradise Drowned". "Paradise Drowned" was Louisiana's contribution to the worldwide Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) performance series, presented in association with the United Nations Conference of the Parties. The project is nationally organized by the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, The Arctic Cycle, and Theatre Without Borders in New York City and enjoys local support from the Coastal Community Resilience Studio at UL and the Bayou Vermilion District.
"Paradise Drowned" was developed by Carl Granieri, Melissa Gilbert, and Sara Birk (faculty) from the School of Music and Performing Arts, Kari Smith (faculty) and John Oliver (graduate student) from the School of Architecture and Design, and Dr. JoAnne DeRouen of the Sociology program. The event was held on the banks of the Vermillion River, and featured three short performances: "Sardines" by playwright Maya Zbib, "For the Gulf Coast" by C. A. Johnson, and a devised piece based on the narratives of the residents of Pecan Island, LA. Live music was provided by students from the UL Traditional Music program, and a post-show discussion was held to discuss the ways in which climate change has impacted the people and communities of South Louisiana.
This project is currently being adapted for inclusion in this year's ArTech Fusion event at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in March 2018.