Oakland Tech Voices from the Storm play

Oral History in Education: Voices from the Storm Play


The play Voices from the Storm, adapted from the Voice of Witness book of the same title, weaves together the true stories of thirteen Hurricane Katrina survivors into one expressive narrative. The adaptation was originally devised and produced by the Advanced Drama class (OakTech Rep) at Oakland Technical High School in November 2015.

The stories—made real and moving by a troupe of talented OakTech Rep performers—evoke the depth of New Orleans culture and resilience in the face of extreme adversity and social injustices perpetuated by the lack of government response after Hurricane Katrine. The play also shines a light on the community heroes who fought to save one another.

The Voice of Witness oral history book, Voices from the Storm, was compiled and edited by Lola Vollen and Chris Ying.

The play was directed by Ena Dallas and adapted with assistance from Danielle Covington, with technical direction by Casey Fern, choreography by Latanya D. Tigner, and costumes designed and executed by the Oakland Tech Fashion Arts and Design Academy (FADA).

Learn more about collaboration opportunities with the Voice of Witness Education Program, and see more VOW-inspired projects here.

Among the many struggles that New Orleans has had to deal with post Katrina is one of gentrification and the survival of its vibrant culture. Through our devised theater process, our students have discovered a parallel to what’s happening in Oakland today. We are in danger of losing integral parts of our culture here at home.

Ena Dallas, OakTech Rep Drama Director

Download the Script

Voice of Witness is proud to offer this compelling theatrical adaptation to schools and community groups.

Devised and produced by OakTech Rep at Oakland Technical High School, Voices from the Storm boldly captures the essence of its source material and provides a powerful point of entry for teaching and learning about the complexities of race, class, and democracy in the United States.

All photos are by Jay Yamada.