The Way of Water
An interview with playwright Caridad Svich
by director Daniella Topol
"How soon after the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill did you know you wanted to write a play that responded to this event?"
I have great affection for the U.S. Gulf region, especially since part of my life growing up was spent in Florida. I was outraged and heartbroken. And still am. At the time I simply, as a concerned citizen and eco-activist, followed the news stories in mainstream media. I traveled and wrote and listened and took notes. Early in 2011 I started to write a series of poems related to the many health and environmental issues the disaster effected; not thinking the poems would transform into a theatre piece. I was just writing because I needed to do so. Then in the late spring of 2011 I wrote a play called GUAPA, and although it is not about the oil spill, it is chiefly about characters living through poverty, engaged with activism, and dreaming big dreams about how they can affect their communities and environment. I realized that it was the first in a quartet of plays set in the U.S. south and southwest, and that actually the poems I'd written and initial research I'd conducted about the oil spill was the next play to be written.
In what ways is the play based on research and in what ways is it inspired by artistic license? The play is not theater of testimony. It is not docu-drama. It is a poetic transformation based on real events. In the play, real events are woven into the fabric of events I've dreamt up as a writer. Poetry, politics and a human story are at the play's core. Here is a love story between people and their environment, between men and women, between friends, and between children and the legacies into which they have been born. The complexities and contradictions of being poor in America is also a strong thematic and concrete thread in the piece. You can't talk about class and race (and post-race) without talking about money in this country. They go hand in hand.
To read the full interview, which includes Caridad talking about the multiple readings of The Way of Water going on across the country, please visit: www.larktheatre.org.
The Way of Water
by Caridad Svich
directed by Daniella Topol
with Caitlin McDonough-Thayer, April Matthis, Armando Riesco, Bobby Plasencia
dramaturg Heather Helinsky
dramaturgy consultant R. Alex Davis
Wednesday, April 18 @ 7pm
Thursday, April 19 @ 7pm
As always, Studio Retreat readings are FREE!
@ Lark's BareBones® Studio
311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
A,C,E to 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal
1,2,3,N,Q,R,S to Times Square-42nd Street