by Valli Marie Rivera, Director
The reading was well received! The audience congratulated the good acting and the staging. The audience about of 35 in our 75-seat theatre was engaged during and after the reading enthusiastic in talk back. The reaction in talk back was quite passionate and serious: about what's happening now in the Gulf, about not having a decent health insurance plan for the people who can't pay, about the cover-up with Corexit and how this can effect future marine life and create more health issues to the community. About what the government is doing. About what we can all do to make a difference with our environment. About who are you as a playwright and activist. About the multi-reading and participating venues. The audience agreed this was a great idea to create awareness and the keep the conversation going. I invited the audience to go to NoPassport blog to continue conversation how the reading affected them or just express what's on their mind about the BP spill and it's consequences to the people and the environment.
Yes the audience did get into play. I think they mostly were engaged to Yuki and Jimmy's relationship which read by my actors was strong and very real. The four friends scenes have a diverse pacing with clarity on the goals of each character. Jimmy and Rosalie's last scene is sad and hard but hopeful and nostalgic, which provoked the audience's hearts to melt. An audience member with her husband and two teenage girls, came up to me and could hardly speak because she was choking with emotion. A senior lady was asking so many questions about the region environment's devastation, what's up with the dolphins, the birds? This created a lot of reactions of what is each one of us doing here and now to save our environment . Like I said the audience became passionate and vocal.
I staged the play with a prop net and characters caught in it. A most engaging metaphor for the audience as they entered.
In all, the story with it's upbeat dialogue, underscored with bits of song and rhythm of the Gulf culture, presented us with real colorful characters dealing with devastating life issues and hanging on to hope and faith. A winner to me!
It has been a journey for all of us. A real awakening for sure with the question in our minds: "what are you going to do about it?"
Thank you so much for inspiring us all again with your stories and questions provoked by them!
The Way of Water by Caridad Svich was read at Vortex Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 7th, 2012 at 2pm.