Water By The Spoonful


The Elliot Trilogy
Audition for all three plays at once:
Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue, Water By the Spoonful, and The Happiest Song Plays Last

Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Alix Hudson, Valli Marie Rivera, and Robyn Rikoon

Produced by Teatro Paraguas, Ironweed Productions, and Santa Fe Playhouse

Audition Dates: Santa Fe: May 4th and 5th, 2:30-5:30p
(by appointment) Location: Santa Fe Playhouse Workshops

3218 Calle Marie, Unit B

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507

Albuquerque: May 11th and 12th, 1p-3p

Location: The FUSION Forum (Next to The Cell Theater)

708 1st St. NW

Albuquerque, NM  87102

Callbacks:              (by invitation only) TBD (Each theatre will contact you to invite you to callbacks for a specific show.)

Production Details:

Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue

Produced by Teatro Paraguas

Presented at Teatro Paraguas

Directed by Alix Hudson

Dates: Rehearsal - August 5th-September 25th (approximate start date)

                            Performances - September 26th - October 13th

                            Thursday-Saturday at 7:30p, Sunday at 2:00p

Water By the Spoonful

Produced by Ironweed Productions

Presented at the Teatro Paraguas Studio Space

Directed by Valli Marie Rivera

Dates: Rehearsal - August 12th-October 2nd (approximate start date)

                            Performances - October 3rd - October 20th

                            Thursday-Saturday at 7:30p, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm

The Happiest Song Plays Last

Produced by Santa Fe Playhouse

Presented at Santa Fe Playhouse

Directed by Robyn Rikoon

Dates: Rehearsal - August 13th-October 9th

                            Performances - October 10th - October 27th

                            Thursday-Saturday at 7:30p, Sunday at 2:00p

Pay:                      $200 stipend

In Attendance: Elliot Director: Alix Hudson

Spoonful Director: Valli Marie Rivera

Spoonful Co-Director: Matt Sanford

Happiest Song Director: Robyn Rikoon
Playhouse Artistic Director: Vaughn Irving

Ironweed Artistic Director: Scott Harrison

Paraguas Executive Director: Argos MacCallum

Auditions by appointment. To secure a 10 minute audition slot please send an email to artisticdirector@santafeplayhouse.org with your preferred time and date. Auditioners will be asked to present short sides from the script with a reader that we will provide. More info will be sent after you schedule an appointment. Actors without an appointment will be seen as time permits.


  • Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue:  Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Quiara Alegría Hudes takes a poignant look at the way war permeates our lives. Hudes’ spare, intense, and poetically resonant play speaks to the personal cost of war across the ages, spanning three generations of a Puerto Rican-American family. Elliot is a Marine Corps hero back from Iraq, his Pop was wounded in Vietnam, and his flute-playing Grandpop fought in Korea. In a fugue-like form, different wars and different tales are strung together as Ginny, his mother who was an army nurse in Viet Nam, seeks to reconcile the disparate parts and heal emotional wounds.

  • Water By the Spoonful:  In a far corner of the internet, moderator “Haikumom” (aka Odessa Ortiz) leads a chat room for recovering drug addicts, From behind their screens, these individuals who might never encounter each other in real life -- a student, an IRS worker, and a financier-- forge a bond as strong as blood. Off the computer, however, in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in North Philly, Odessa Ortiz’s real-life family is falling apart. Her nephew, Elliot, has returned from Iraq both physically and emotionally broken. Her niece, Yaz, is unable to reconcile her identity as a North Philly girl from the barrio with her upper-crust, intellectual lifestyle. Her sister, who was the mother that Odessa could never be, is dying of cancer. Inventive and timely, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Water By the Spoonful is a powerful, compassionate look at the meaning of family, and the burdens we must carry to protect it.


  • The Happiest Song Plays Last:  This play is the third and final in the Hudes Trilogy. We meet the characters a few years after Water by the Spoonful. Happiest Song combines two different story lines tied together with the idea of community activism and the difficulties within – the show features live music. Elliot has returned to the Middle East, but this time the fatigues he wears are a costume as he works on a docudrama with a young actress, an Iraqi refugee and an unseen tyrannical director. Back home in North Philly, Elliot’s unmarried cousin Yaz has taken the place of her aunt as a community caretaker. In between feeding the locals, Yaz suddenly finds herself falling for the two decades her senior Augustin, a local practitioner of Puerto-Rican Jibaro music.


Character Breakdowns:

  • Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue

    • ELLIOT, 18-19, serving in Iraq, 1st Marine Division

    • POP, Various Ages, Elliot’s father, served in Viet Nam, 3rd Cavalry Division

    • GRANDPOP, Various Ages, Elliot’s grandfather, served in Korea, 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico

    • GINNY, Various Ages, Elliot’s mother, served in Vietnam, Army Nurse Corps


  • Water By the Spoonful

    • ODESSA ORTIZ, 39, a.k.a. Haikumom, founder of www.recovertogether.com, works odd janitorial jobs, lives one notch above squalor.

    • ELLIOT ORTIZ, 24, an Iraq vet with a slight limp, works at Subway Hoagies, scores an occasional job as a model or actor, Yazmin's cousin, Odessa’s birth son.

    • YAZMIN ORTIZ. 31, adjunct professor of music, Odessa's niece and Elliot's cousin.

    • FOUNTAINHEAD, 38, a.k.a. John, a computer programmer and entrepreneur, Lives on Philadelphia's Main Line, white.

    • CHUTES&LADDERS, 56, lives in San Diego, has worked a low-level job at the IRS since the Reagan years, African-American, his real name is Clayton "Buddy" Wilkie.

    • ORANGUTAN. 31, a recent community college graduate, Japanese by birth, her real name is Madeleine Mays and before that Yoshiko Sakai.

    • A GHOST, also plays PROFESSOR AMAN, an Arabic professor at Swarthmore; also plays A POLICEMAN in Japan.

  • The Happiest Song Plays Last

    • ELLIOT: 20’s Latino. A Philly native. An ex-Marine turned actor with a Cheeseburger smile.

    • YAZ: 30’s Latina - Elliot’s cousin. A musical Prodigy and a facilitator. A warrior in her own right.

    • SAHR: Short for Shahrnush, 20’s, Arab-American, emphasis on the American. Intelligent and Empathetic.

    • AUGUSTIN: 60’s Latino. A teacher, a social worker, a revolutionary, a gentle soul. Knowledge of how to play a guitar/Cuatro/ukulele a plus but not necessary.

    • ALI: 30’s-40’s Arab, thick accent. A family man full of love and humanity. Displaced from his home.

    • LEFTY: 30’s-70’s, any ethnicity. He is a cultural outsider to the Puerto Rican community, but they have accepted him as one of their own. Lives off the grid. He remembers everything.

    • MUSICIAN(S): Guitar, Cuarto, Guiro, Bongo, Vocalist - All are welcome. Music of the show is specific to Puerto Rican classics, Jibaro style such as Ramito, as well as working on Spanish Arabic Fusion if possible. An interest in or knowledge of Oud would be wonderful. Willingness to participate in staging a plus.