Arden Theatre Company to Present WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, 1/16-3/16
Arden Theatre Company continues its 26th season of great stories with Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes under the direction of Lucie Tiberghien. The production appears on the Arden's Arcadia Stage from January 16 through March 16, 2014 at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.
A group of strangers seek connection, recovery, and redemption in this commanding new play that redefines what it means to be a family. From the Main Line to Girard Avenue, Swarthmore College to an online chat room, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes draws from her Philadelphia roots for this 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning play. "I can't tell you what a particular thrill it is for my work to 'come home.'" says Hudes in an excerpt from the Arden's stagebill notes. "[Philly] is a city of brilliant, often overlooked, individuals with stories just begging to be told. And so this play was born."
Water by the Spoonful is the middle installment of The Elliot Trilogy beginning with Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue and concluding in The Happiest Song Plays Last, which will have its New York premiere this February at Second Stage Theatre. Hudes wrote the book for the Broadway musical In the Heights, which received the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony nomination for best book of a musical, and was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Water by the Spoonful premiered at Hartford Stage in 2011 before the New York production opened at Second Stage Theatre in 2012. Hudes grew up in West Philadelphia. She attended Central High School, studied music at Settlement Music School, and had her first play produced by Philadelphia Young Playwrights when she was in tenth grade. Her honors include the United States Artists Fontanals Fellowship, the Joyce Fellowship at the Goodman Theatre, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage, and the Roe Green Award at the Cleveland Playhouse.
Lucie Tiberghien makes her Arden debut with Water by the Spoonful. Other directorial credits include the world premieres of Stephen Belber's Don't Go Gentle at MCC at The Lucille Lortel Theatre, Katori Hall's Hoodoo Love at Cherry Lane Theater and Lee Blessing's Great Falls at Humana Festival.
Actor Brian Anthony Wilson, most recently seen at the Arden in Pinocchio, returns to play Chutes and Ladders. Also returning to the Arden is actress Bi Jean Ngo (Peter Pan, Threepenny Opera, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Borrowers) as Orangutan. The other members of this ensemble cast makes their Arden debuts in Water by the Spoonful: Armando Batista (regional credits at The Centre Theatre, Plays and Players, and Philadelphia Theatre Co.) as Elliot; Tuhran Cayalak (Nurse Jackie) as A Ghost, Professor Aman, and A Policeman; and Maia DeSanti (Angels in America at the Wilma) as Yaz.
The production team on the Arden's stage includes: New York based and Barrymore award-winning scenic designer Alexis Distler (The Wilma Theatre In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play , The Juliard School Curlew River), costume designer Alison Roberts (Stick Fly, A Raisin in the Sun, Superior Donuts), lighting designer Eric Southern (Kansas City Rep The History of Kisses with David Cale, Atlantic Theatre Company 10x25), and sound designer Robert Kaplowitz (A Raisin in the Sun, Superior Donuts, Tony Award for Fela!).
Water by the Spoonful previews begin on Thursday, January 16, 2014. Preview performances run January 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21. Opening night is set for 7pm Wednesday, January 22. The final performance is scheduled for March 16, 2014. Single ticket prices are $36-$48, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 15+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Mainstage Subscriptions are on sale for $84-$135. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.
A Pay What You Can performance will be held on Wednesday, January 15 at 8pm. All proceeds benefit Philadelphia Young Playwrights, an arts education organization that taps the potential of youth and inspires learning through playwriting. Philadelphia Young Playwrights published Hudes' first play in the tenth grade.
Post-show discussions will be held following performances on January 30 at 8pm, February 9 &16 at 2pm, and February 19 & 26 at 6:30pm.
The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Open Captioned and Audio Described performances will take place on Friday, February 21 at 8pm and Saturday, February 22 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden's Box Office at 215.922.1122.
The Scene, the Arden's young professionals networking event, will be held on Friday, February 21 at 8pm. Tickets are $30 and include a pre-show reception at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show party with the staff and cast. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/thescene or by calling 215.922.1122 and mentioning The Scene.
Teen Arden, a program for area teenagers passionate about theatre, hosts Drama, Bites, Access! on Friday, February 28 at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and include a pre-show party at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show meet and greet with members of the creative team and cast of Water by the Spoonful. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/tickets/teenarden or by calling 215.922.1122. Teen Arden is made possible by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.
The show runs January 16 - March 16, 2014. Preview performances: January 16-21, 2014. Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the Arden Theatre Company's Arcadia Stage, 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106. For tickets, call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org. Prices: $36-$48 for adults depending on the performance chosen. Group discounts available for 15+. Student Rush tickets at the door 30 minutes before curtain for $10 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)
Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children's Theatre, the city's first resident professional children's theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people.
The Arden has expanded into the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building located three doors north of the Arden at 62 N. 2nd Street. This building is a home for process and innovation, including seven classrooms for Arden Drama School, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, Teacher Resource Center, and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. Details about the Hamilton Family Arts Center can be found online at www.ardentheatre.org/new.
The Arden has received seven Philadelphia Magazine "Best of Philly" Awards, the Arts and Business Council's Arts Excellence Award, five City Paper "Reader's Choice" Awards, four Philadelphia Inquirer "Theatre Company of the Year" citations, 58 awards and 276 nominations from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named "Best Theatre Company" by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.