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  • Cottonwood in the Flood
    A fully staged drama about the African American experience in 1940s Oregon and the rapid rise - - and even more rapid fall - - of the city of Vanport

    It is the early 1940s, and the United States has just entered World War II. The country needs ships and it needs them fast, and a huge complex of shipyards springs up virtually overnight along the water's edge just north of Portland. To build those ships, workers come from all corners of the nation, and to house those workers--many from the South and many African-American--a city of 40,000 called Vanport is constructed from scratch on a muddy floodplain of the mighty Columbia River. Tragically, on a Sunday afternoon a half-decade later, Vanport is destroyed by a catastrophic flood that presages the events of Katrina by some sixty years.

    Cottonwood in the Flood tells the tale of one (fictional) African-American family and their experiences in Vanport both during and immediately after the war, a time and place where America's nobler ideals and its history of racial injustice collide head-on in the Pacific Northwest.

    written by Rich Rubin
    directed by Damaris Webb
    presented as part of the Inaugural 2016 Vanport Mosaic Festival
    produced by Don Glenn & Damaris Webb

    12 Public Performances:
    May 26th - June 12th, 2016
    Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 3p
    join us for talk-back panels following the Sunday matinees

    Tickets are sliding scale, general admission (no assigned seating)
    Suggested: $5 students & seniors, $10 - $25 general

    The Box Office at IFCC will be open one hour before curtain, as will the upstairs gallery exhibit: The Surge of Social Change, curated by Oregon Black Pioneers

    This production is made possible by generous support from
    The Regional Arts & Culture Council, The Multnomah County Cultural Coalition & The Oregon Cultural Trust, Ronni Lacroute/Willakenzie Estate, The Vanport Mosaic Festival, and The Oregon Heritage Commission.

    Run Time

    2 hours with 1 intermission