Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes

Regional Premiere * 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Water by the Spoonful
by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Chip Walton

September 3-October 15, 2016
Previews September 1-2

In a far corner of the internet, Odessa leads a chat room for recovering drug addicts. From behind their screens, these individuals forge a bond as strong as blood. Off the computer, however, Odessa’s real-life family is falling apart. Elliot has returned from Iraq both physically and emotionally broken. Yaz is unable to reconcile her identity as a North Philly girl from the barrio with her upper-crust, intellectual lifestyle. And the family’s matriarch is dying of cancer. Water By the Spoonful is a powerful, compassionate look at the meaning of family.

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Odessa: Gabriella Cavellero
Chutes&Ladders: Abner Genece
Professor, Ghost, Policeman: Damon Guerrasio
Fountainhead: William Hahn
Yaz: GerRee Hinshaw
Elliot: Thony Mena
Orangutan: Jenna Moll Reyes

Scenic Designer: Markas Henry
Costume Designer: Kevin Brainerd
Lighting Designer: Richard Devin
Properties Designer: Kristin Hamer MacFarlane
Sound Designer: Brian Freeland
Stage Manager: Jonathan D. Allsup

This play is the second in a series of three plays by Quiara Alegría Hudes known as The Elliot Plays. Each play was written independently and can be seen without the other two; in fact, Curious offers the first time that any audience could see all three together – most often, each play is performed completely independently as a stand-alone show. All three of The Elliot Plays center around Elliot, who is based on the playwright’s real-life cousin Elliot, at a different stage in his life. Each play offers insight into the other two through Elliot, the only character in all three.

Unlike a movie trilogy, there are no cliffhangers. Rather, Serial Storytelling allows a broader canvas and allows a playwright to more fully explore their work. For more information on Serial Storytelling, visit this page.

Live Reading of Elliot, A Solider’s Fugue
Wednesday, September 14 at 7pm
Open to the Public – donations taken at the door
If you missed the first play in this series, enjoy one last chance to see Elliot’s past through this reading with the full cast of the 2016 Curious production. Written like a Bach fugue, this play overlays Elliot’s time in Iraq with his father’s in Vietnam and his grandfather’s in Korea.

The Jazz Infusion: How Coltrane influenced Water by the Spoonful
Saturday, September 17 at 7pm
Thursday, September 29 at 7pm
Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes used music to influence the style and format for each of the three Elliot Plays. Water by the Spoonful was inspired by the jazz works of Coltrane, calling on the dissonance prevalent in that work as she wrote each of these characters. Lamont School of Music Professor Art Bouton will join us to talk about Coltrane’s work and what to look for in the play as his influence. This 30 minute chat will leave time for questions. Free to anyone with a ticket for that evening’s performance!


Want to talk with others about the show? Want to hear from the actors about the process behind the play? Talkbacks with artistic staff and cast members follow each performance, starting the Thursday after opening and continuing until Friday of closing weekend. A Curious favorite!

Tuesdays with Thony
Thony Mena, who plays Elliot, is hosting a weekly video series to share behind-the-scenes info about the rehearsal process for Water by the Spoonful. Follow along to get insider information about this show, the cast, and how a show comes together.

Season Sponsors:
Shamos Family Foundation
The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

Season Patrons:
Diana & Mike Kinsey
Elizabeth Steele
Carol E. Wolf

Serial Storytelling Sponsor:
Laura Cowperthwaite & LiveWork Denver

Platinum Show Sponsor:
RedLine Contemporary Art Center

Gold Show Sponsor:
Roscoe Hill

Silver Show Sponsor:
Lynne & Jon C. Montague-Clouse

“Water by the Spoonful” Deals with Addiction
Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post
Water by the Spoonful” by Quiara Alegria Hudes offers a moving meditation on the power of human connection. The regional premiere of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama at Curious Theatre Company successfully contrasts the ways we represent ourselves outwardly versus who we really are, and illustrates the ways we search for a chosen family beyond our blood ties.

Water by the Spoonful
Colorado Drama Critic Bob Bows
In this regional premiere of Water by the Spoonful (2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), the playwright’s munificent imagination is matched by director Chip Walton and his talented design team and cast, whose clarity of vision navigate us through Hudes’ vibrant stream of consciousness.

Water by the Spoonful continues a Solider’s Story at Curious
Juliet Wittman, Westword
Water by the Spoonful is by far the best of Hudes’s works that we’ve seen so far. Here we watch the interactions between Elliot and his cousin Yazmin as they deal with the death of his surrogate mother, Ginny, whose warm, healing presence suffused the previous play. These interactions supply a kind of framework for what at first seems an unrelated plot: a group of recovering drug addicts conversing on a chatline monitored by Odessa, herself a recovering addict. Their stories sometimes echo themes we hear in Elliot’s story. All of them are lonely, feel exiled and are reaching for companionship and comfort. It’s only later that we discover the link between the two narratives and a series of wrenching developments follows.

Gabriella Cavallero Talks with Westword
Juliet Wittman, Westword
In Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Pulitzer-winning Water by the Spoonful, opening at Curious Theatre Company, Gabriella Cavallero plays Odessa, a woman who runs a chat room for recovering addicts. “She has a very tragic thing that happens to her and sends her reeling into addiction,” explains Cavallero. “She disconnects herself from her family completely. She loses her son. This chat line is really her lifeline to stay clean herself and to be able to help other people who were in her place.”