Paul Schlesinger / The Collegian
Fresno State’s production of “Water by the Spoonful,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning
play, directed by theatre professor Kathleen McKinley, is set to open tonight at the Woods Theatre.
Crafted in worlds of realism and cyber chat-rooms, “Water by The Spoonful,” written by 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Alegria Hudes, confronts issues of forgiveness, addiction and death.
Directing nearly 50 campus productions, McKinley said she was drawn to direct “Water by the Spoonful” for its universal themes of family — birth, adopted, real and virtual — and the power of forgiveness.
“I was intrigued by the funny, quirky, courageous characters dealing with contemporary issues of online communication, PTSD and addiction,” McKinley said. “The play is serious, but the characters are funny, smart-alecky, smart, and passionate.”
McKinley said attendees should be fascinated by the play’s modernization and exploration of communication through online chatrooms.
“The production has three worlds: the real world, cyber world and a world of Magical Realism,” McKinley said. “The three worlds are at times isolated, and at other moments overlap as characters physically slide into, stumble upon and invade these spaces.”
Fresno State senior Austin Yarbrough, playing “Water by the Spoonful” character Elliot Ortiz, said he and the cast are ready to open.
“We’ve spent so much time living in these characters that it’s about time an audience sees the theatre we’ve created,” Yarbrough said. “I think the lighting and sound design of this show are going to make a great spectacle for the audience.”
Yarbrough said he fell in love with Water by the Spoonful’s script and enjoys playing Elliot because of his constant potential energy, “like a loaded gun just waiting to go off.”
“ ‘Water’ is so full of gut-wrenching, rip-your-heart-out emotions,” Yarbrough said. “Kathleen is amazing at helping our characters establish and showcase their relationships.”
Amanda Valdez, Fresno State senior playing Odessa Ortiz/Haikumom, said she hopes the audience will be full of enjoyment and speechless after seeing the performance.
“This show is so much about human nature and how people connect with each other in this world,” Valdez said. “Hopefully the audience will be moved by the strong content of the show.”
“Water by the Spoonful” will continue through Saturday, March 21.