Reflection on Spark at University of Washington
University of Washington-Seattle Dept. of Theatre in collaboration with The Hansberry Project
November 7, 2012
Directed by Val Curtis Newton
By Shaunyce Omar
I had the pleasure of participating in the reading of SPARK in honor of Veteran's Day. The play is written by Caridad Svich and was directed by Valerie Curtis Newton. SPARK is a drama set in small town U.S.A. It follows the lives of 3 sisters as they try to reunite the family after one has served in the recent war. As well as, magnifying the issues soldiers face upon returning to civilian life. I played the eldest sister Evelyn, who tries to create a "perfect" place/home for her soldier sister to return to. As I reflect on my experience playing Evelyn. I am reminded of so many women who try to hold their families together by squeezing as tight as they can, only to suffocate them and themselves. SPARK captures her insecurities, fears and pain, while showing us how it has manifested into a "nit picking" anger. Evelyn almost can't help herself. If something is not quite perfect, she must attempt to make the adjustment. I loved playing her because between her rants she has a few vulnerable moments. It is then we see her true love for her family.
Kudos to the playwright for creating not only entertaining theatre, but intelligent work that focuses on the difficult homecoming for our soldiers. Also I had a wonderful ensemble to work with and director to lead me, who I believe caught the vision of the script and helped us find it as well!