What themes are present in “Water by the Spoonful”? How do you plan to highlight those themes?
The basic idea of the play is to show how people try to cope with their past. Each character has a traumatic experience, and to overcome personal demons is the main tasks for the, but they also need other person as a mirror. Hudes pays particular attention on the family as a refuge, because the characters are trying not only to return to the family, but also to find the most convenient place for their own happiness. In this process, they have overcome many obstacles and challenges. Accordingly, I will try as much as possible to emphasize the difference between the characters, their worlds and stories, emphasizing there body movements and replicas. In the dialogues, I will choose the most urgent and expressive points about identity and search for meaning in life, dropping less important to everyday replicas.
What is the mood/atmosphere of this piece? How do you plan to create that mood/atmosphere?
The play is injury, hope, and past, so the whole atmosphere is highly dramatic, though there are many quiet moments. From the opening scene, Iraq war veteran Elliott is notified about the death of his mother (Hudens, 2012, p. 7). In fact, there are many psychological and melodramatic moments, so the play keeps in suspense from the first scene. The author often expresses it with short phrases. My task is to convey this atmosphere, but not to create a feeling of constant anxiety for the viewer. It is important to achieve an effect of truthfulness and vitality, reducing the artificial points. The main attraction for me is that the viewer should believe in these characters, and even to trust them as well as the author provides it. Indeed, when I read the play, I felt no barriers between the characters and me. It seemed that they were my neighbors and best friends. Accordingly, it is that I want to achieve in my version.
What artifacts in the characters’ lives might be part of the physical environment?
I want to make a minimum of space, but still I will use some artifacts. For me, it is better to emphasize the everyday nature of space, so I will pay attention to simple things: a table, a sofa, a workplace, and some visual broadcast. With these simple props it will better to emphasize the lack of connection with the past and their mental emptiness. In this way, the things describe their isolation from the past. On the other hand, I will use specific items to emphasize the character’s life. For example, I will use old photos from the war and Arabic inscriptions in order to show that traumatic experience of Eddie (Hudens, 2012, p. 36). However, there is no more or less important character, so I do not exacerbate attention to it in the interior. The main thing to keep balance and proper accents, but still Eddie will dominate, because I plan to generalize the themes of solitude, recovery, and despair on the example of Eddie and his relationships with other characters.
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What are the basic actions of the characters in the play?
Most of the events happening in a small space: Eddie’s workplace and his room, the classroom, and the office. Accordingly, these objects limit the basic movements of characters in. For me, it is important not to overburden the scene, and thus to make more visual effects, emphasizing the monologues and dialogues in this way. Nevertheless, it is important symbolically to mark the boundary between spaces (for example, a thin rope or some other symbolic boundaries). However, the emphasis will be on the online projections, including the past/future, Coltrane’s music, weather, and noise of the city. The auditory effect will be visualized through the game of light, creating a feeling of wandering in the past. Perhaps, it is necessary to create a small maze of simple objects in the scene to emphasize this idea.
How does the playwright describe the setting?
The events taking place in different countries, but mostly in small spaces: an online chat room, a boxing gym, a Japanese train station, and Odessa’s room. The play is not realistic, so it is important to emphasize the space symbolically. For me, the space is not locked by any cultural or spatial limits, because there is the idea of human recovery, suffering from the past, and deep emotional experience that can happen anywhere. For the author, it is important to stress out the time and spatial interaction between characters, especially by the music of Coltrane. My vision is not different from the author, because I am not interested in details, but in an overall transferring through dramatic mood of human replicas and movements. The theme of redemption and recovery is universal, so it is important to show all these ideas in the generalized space.
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What seems to be the impact of the online world on the different characters?
The online world is especially significant in the play, and it affects the characters directly. In particular, the second storyline is completely online, because Odessa established the chat. She tries to rehabilitate drug addicts and herself at the same time. People have never seen each other, but in the Internet forum they help each other to adapt into society. On the other hand, it limits the people, because they are still lonely and abandoned in real life. In addition, the online chat makes impossible to see a person as an emotional being. Yet for many the online forum is useful, because they feel better after the chatting. In other words, they are not marginal, because there are so many affected persons. Therefore, the return to real life makes it possible to find new people and start life again.
What specific area of the non-online, physical world are most important to the play?
There are some key physical places, especially the places in America (a Subway shop, an online chat, a boxing gym), Japan (a railway station), and Puerto Rico (the rolling hills of the El Yunque Rainforest). These places are quite small, but they are in different countries. It is important to show the intimate space of the characters, including their apartments. You can use the same picture, but change the background due to the projection. The movement from one place to another requires a rolling scene or a spinning stage, where there will be only one or two items that point out the location. For the Japanese station, it is possible just put the bench and station titled in Japanese. The same principle can be used in other locations.
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What symbols are associated with the character?
I choose Elliot as the main character. The main symbols of this character are Iraq, the ghost of the victim, a camouflage, and sound of war. All this is possible due to the anxious music and light.
What time period do the costumes come from?
The costumes come from the modern era, but with a certain touch of obsolescence. This indicates that one more time that Elliot got stuck in the past, and does not pay attention to modern trends in fashion, so his clothes is a little worn. It is possible to use the sporty style that reflects the physical training of Elliot.
This can be a shirt and shorts.
What color (s) might represent the life of this character? Are specific colors called for in the script?
The main colors are dull dark colors, including green, blue, and black. It is quite subtle and masked colors that hide Elliot’s past. There are no special colors that were mentioned in the play, but the author described the sporty stile with simple everyday colors.
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Do they cover or hide themselves in their clothes or do they dress to impress? How do think the characters feel about what they wear?
The colors express the inner world of the characters, so each of them tries to wear appropriate clothing. Eliot puts the inconspicuous simple clothes, not standing out from others. Instead, Odessa wears bright clothes, paying attention in this way. The characters worry about what they wear, because their clothes are a channel of communication and a powerful method of expression at the same time, which often replace language.