Water by the Spoonful*
Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Nancy T. Hansen Theatre (2020)
*Canceled due to COVID-19
Director - Ann Shanahan
Scenic Designer - Julie Aker
Costume Designer - Caroline Lucille Rein
Assistant Costume Designer - Kaylee Granger
Lighting Designer - Denisse Chavez
Sound Designer - Barry Funderburg
Associate Sound Designer - Adam Lewis
Technical Director - Tabitha Wimsett
Design Approach: In Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, the ideas of ugliness and dissonance are presented as central themes. There are ugliness and dissonance in each of the characters’ worlds and, as Yaz states, “the ugliness bore no promise of a happy ending. The ugliness became an end in itself” (16). The play explores the dissonance of trauma that accompanies addiction, war, economic injustice, and loss.
Our production focuses on the liminal space between technology and nature, illuminated through linear and organic visual metaphors. With the costumes, we attempt to blend linear and organic by moving from structured garments at the beginning of the production to a softened look by the end.
Water, as a metaphor, ties the play and characters together. Here, water moves between tranquility and violence. Chutes&Ladders is afraid of drowning; Elliot and Yaz throw Ginny’s ashes into a waterfall; and Odessa, notably, scoops water by the spoonful in a ritual re-enactment of her failure to keep her daughter alive. In light of the ever-present significance of water in this play, the characters move toward bright, pure, vibrant blue/white tones in the final moments of the play, thereby reflecting hope and the cleansing of their connections in the digital and natural worlds.