(photo by Bernadette Giacomazzo)
From the people that brought you “In The Heights” comes the latest Latino play, “Water by the Spoonful.” Based on the roman a clef by Quiara Alegria Hudes (which is part of The Elliot Trilogy), this Pulitzer Prize winner is coming to the Second Stage Theatre later this month.
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In an exclusive preview for the press, Hudes said that she was inspired by her own life to write this book (and, ultimately, the play). “My cousin was a soldier, and he was injured in Tikrit,” she said. Similar to her cousin’s experience, then, is the “Spoonful” solider, who is struggling to find his place in the world after returning home from a tour of duty — while haunted by the ghost of the Arabic man he killed in combat — and finding unusual allies in an online addict/recovery chat room.
“I got the name for the story from the process of nurturing babies when they are dehydrated,” she continued. “When babies are trying to make their way into the world, they’re very vulnerable and open — and this, I say, from experience, speaking as a mother. And in order to nurture them while they’re ill, especially if they’re dehydrated, you give them, well, ‘water by the spoonful.’ I view the soldier as being in that same vulnerable state.”
According to The Boston Globe, the play, which was commissioned by Hartford Stage as part of Quiara’s 2008-2009 Aetna New Voices Fellowship, debuted at Hartford Stage in October 2011. It is now playing a limited run at the off-Broadway stalwart Second Stage Theatre.