Tue09232014

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks offers 'Spoonful' of drama beginning this week


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Three strangers – “Chutes & Ladders” (Anthony J. Haney, left), Odessa (Zilah Mendoza, center) and “Orangutan” (Anna Ishida, right) – come together in an online support group in TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of the drama “Water by the Spoonful.”

TheatreWorks is scheduled to present the regional premiere of the award-winning drama “Water by the Spoonful” today through Sept. 14 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Leslie Martinson directs the story from Quiara Alegría Hudes.

The play follows a community of troubled strangers who seek refuge in an online chat room, and their interaction with the webmaster – who may be running from demons of her own. When real and virtual worlds collide, the characters find that despite their torments and flaws, they each embrace the spirit of hope.

The second installment in Hudes’ “Elliot Trilogy” of plays tracing the coming of age of young Puerto Rican Elliot Ortiz, “Water” depicts life’s complications and hardships, focusing on Elliot’s struggle with civilian life upon returning from the Iraq War.

In a parallel storyline, recovering drug addicts share their secrets in an Internet forum moderated by a mysterious woman.

When the two storylines converge, notions of family, forgiveness, community and courage are challenged as the characters fight to move forward against their crumbling realities.

Originally trained as a musician, American playwright and composer Hudes is best known for writing the book for Broadway’s “In the Heights,” which won a Tony Award for Best Musical.

The “Water” cast features Miles Gaston Villanueva as Elliot, Sabina Zuniga Varela as Yazmin, George Psarras as Professor Aman/“Ghost,” Zilah Mendoza as Odessa/“Haikumom,” Anna Ishida as “Orangutan”/Madeleine, Anthony J. Haney as “Chutes & Ladders”/Wilkie and Patrick Kelly Jones as “Fountainhead”/John.

Martinson, associate artistic director at TheatreWorks, has served as a director/administrator with the company since 1984.

Previews are scheduled 8 p.m. today through Friday, as is Saturday’s opening show. Future shows are slated 2 and/or 7 p.m. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 2 and/or 8 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets are $19-$74.

For tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit theatreworks.org.

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