Wednesday September 09, 2015

​The Wire's Wendell Pierce on why art is essential to recovery

After Katrina, The Wire's Wendell Pierce heard a call to action in a Samuel Beckett play.

After Katrina, The Wire's Wendell Pierce heard a call to action in a Samuel Beckett play. (Ben Shannon/CBC/Reuters)

Listen 19:06

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina dragged on for weeks, then years. After the flooding, drowning and death, the people of New Orleans were forced to contend with displacement, homelessness and overwhelming destruction.

Wendell Pierce — known for his roles as Bunk on The Wire and Antoine on Treme — watched helplessly as his childhood neighbourhood was devastated by Katrina. The actor joins Shad to share how a powerful performance of Waiting For Godot became his call to action, and why he believes that art is essential to every recovery process.

Pierce chronicles the full story in his new book, The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken.