Arden Theatre Company Presents WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, Now thru 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 today, 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.




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