POST: 'Spill' - the oil rig industry was the place to be if you were young

What's it about?

The play chronicles the moments up to and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. 11 lives were lost but the events leading up to it raise questions about whether the deaths could have been prevented if greed was not in full force.

What I experienced?

Oh my goodness, what is New York City without winter. Just walking 5 blocks felt as though cold bricks were hitting my face every step I took. This 10 minute commute turned into a 20 minute commute due to snow being plowed up on all the sidewalks. Thanks snowstorm Sandy. As clumsy as I am, when it comes to directions my friend accompanied me to the theater. I arrived at the theater 30 minutes early but I utilized the extra time to chit chat with my friend.

The doors opened at 7:00 pm and there were no assigned seats, so as usual I sat on the very end of the row highest from the stage. It was a semi-packed house. The lights dimmed and a handful of characters rushed to the stage. I instantly recognized two of them. One character I knew from a previous play (Kentucky) I saw and the other did frequent appearances on one of my favorite shows Everybody Hates Chris. At that point, I was pretty ecstatic to see someone I usually see on TV in person just a few feet away!

The actors portrayed the victims of the explosion and their families. What I learned 20 minutes into the play, from the newspaper reporter who narrated, was that the oil rig industry was the place to be if you were young, driven, and only had a high school diploma. A person could make so much money at a young age, that the duties that came with working on an oil rig, which were rigorous, did not deter. The narrator interviewed the family members of the victims and I must admit it was getting emotional. As I mentioned before, these were young people who had a whole life ahead of them and that was unexpectedly taken. But the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil rig had a good reputation, not having any injury to any of the workers employed there for the past 7 years (prior to the explosion). To BP, who owned the oil rig, that was considered great. Great enough that they flew two top executives, in charge of overseeing the oil rig, to Deepwater Horizon in order to present the captain, along with the crew, an award.

To the executives, not getting into trouble was deemed proactive rather than frequently checking in on the safety of the crew and properly operating an oil rig with monthly maintenance. Though it had a good reputation, it also had a bad history behind its infamous name. Deepwater Horizon also had a nickname, Macondo which comes from the fictional town in Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel One Hundred Years of Solitude where no one knew for certain where the limits of reality were. This spoke volumes to me, because it was as if the destiny of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was set and those who would go down with it was unknown.

The explosion ultimately occurred because they were overworking machinery that had not been looked at for years. Greed and impatience, I believe, led to the carelessness. Instead of putting in the time and money to look after things, it was overlooked, along with the safety of the crew, the ecosystem of the ocean, and the surrounding countries that that utilizes that part of the ocean...

Want to see it?

$30 Student Tickets

@ Ensemble Studio Theatre
thru Apr. 2

What did you experience?

Let PXP know in the comments below...