Water By the Spoonful

Years after his honorable discharge, a Puerto Rican veteran is surrounded by the North Philadelphia demons he tried to escape in the service. Meanwhile, in a chat room, a group of recovering addicts forge the safe haven they don’t have in their physical communities. Birth families splinter and online families collide in Philly, Puerto Rico, Japan, and California, all set to Coltrane’s free jazz.

Matthew Boston and Liza Colon Zayas
Teresa Avia Lim, Liza Colon Zayas, and Ray Anthony Thomas
Zabryna Guevara and Armando Riesco
Teresa Avia Lim
Cast Requirements

3 women
4 men


Winner: 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Finalist: Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association New Play Award


World Premiere opening night at Hartford Stage Company on October 28, 2011.


“All the characters in Quiara Alegria Hudes’ compassionate follow-up to “Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue” (a Pulitzer finalist) are seeking a kind of visa -- one that will allow them to make it to a safe haven in a messed-up world. Everyone in the play is living day to day -- or spoonful by spoonful, to echo Hudes’ poignant metaphor -- enabled, hindered, and supported by an ever-interrelated reach of family and friends. The play is a combination poem, prayer and app on how to cope in an age of uncertainty, speed and chaos. When cyber meets the real world, anger gives way to forgiveness and resistance becomes redemption; the heart of the play opens up and the waters flow freely.”

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“This is one of the best new plays I've seen in years. This is a very funny, warm and, yes, uplifting, play with characters that are vivid, vital and who stay with you long after the play is over. A quartet of wounded yet fiercely bright characters who are trying to stay sober communicate over the Internet. Those who feel the web is a cold connection may change their opinion after they see the very hot limbo in which these characters live and interact.”
-The Hartford Courant

Production and Development History

Commissioned: Hartford Stage Company.

Workshop: Hartford Stage Company.