Community Rallies to Restore Mudlark Public Theatre After Fire

In the early hours of September 12, the Mudlark Public Theatre, a beloved St. Roch performance space, suffered a devastating fire.

Along with rendering the event space unusable, the fire completely destroyed the upstairs home of owner Pandora Gastelum.

Mudlark Public Theatre, Pandora Gastelum

The puppets “Night” and “Mother” by the Mudlark Theatre's Pandora Gastelum and Otter Goodfellow. Photo by Elsa Hahne.

The Mudlark has been a long-standing creative hub for the local New Orleans community.

From the giant puppets beyond the entryway to the cabaret style stage, the Mudlark gave a home to unusual collaborations and outlandish performances that couldn’t have taken place anywhere else.

A community of friends and artists involved with the Mudlark quickly launched a fundraising campaign in support of Pandora, who lost all of her personal belongings along with her home.

In under a week, the campaign has raised $7,278 of its $20,000 goal.

Additionally, the tragedy has sparked a series of fundraising concerts at venues across the city.

Last Sunday at the St. Roch, a small benefit took place with performances from Meschiya Lake, Brian Belknap, Dick Deluxe, and Mike Darby, among many others.

This Sunday, September 21, a fundraising benefit will take place at the Banks St. Bar at 4 p.m.

Artists will include Dick Deluxe, Patrick Cooper, Mike Dill, Lynn Drury, Andre Bouvier, and Mike Darby.

This event is free and open to the public, all donations will go to Pandora Gastelum and her recovery effort.

Click here to donate money