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Non+Existence

Water by the Spoonful raises awareness about PTSD

The cast of Water by the Spoonful playing at Toy Box Theater. Photo credit: Sophia Sanovich

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Theater has been present in America for centuries. Starting from using candles as stage lights in Hamlet, to having Elphaba the wicked witch of the West flying from the sky in Broadway's Wicked. It's a way for storytellers to showcase their acting skills, voices and overall talent. The beautiful thing about theater is it's a way for people to hear a story with no distractions. When you are sitting in on a play, the only thing that is on your mind is the story that is happening in front of you. In Tacoma, it's a way for the community to get together and be unified to put on a show. Whether it's a high school production, or a community-wide event at the Broadway Center, you need the community to make a theatrical event happen. 

Seeing the power of theater is Marilyn Bennett, who is the founding artistic director of Toy Box Theater, an adjunct faculty at UW Tacoma. Marilyn opened Toy Box Theater with the purpose of having a theater that was less recognized to make smaller productions happen. Being that UW Tacoma's Theater program is at the moment non-existent, this made Marilyn a perfect fit. At the moment, the school's productions are done with the help of Marilyn, other faculty, community members, and students receive extra credit for participating in productions. With growing support of the community and staff, the school's theater program will be just as strong, if not stronger than any other program on campus sooner than we think.

Marilyn is starting this revolution by directing a play called Water by the Spoonful. The story was written by play write, Quiara Alegria Hudes. Water by the Spoonful follows a young man named Elliot Ortiz from Puerto Rico who is an Iraq War veteran. Through this story we find out how Elliot finds his place in society with PTSD, and the battle that he has to overcome with addiction. It opens the conversation of if you know and love someone who has these issues - how do you support them? How do you make someone feel at home who isn't presently at home? I don't know if I would call this play the "feel-good event of the year." However, I do believe that it will give you a new perspective, which is what good stories always do.

Water by the Spoonful, 7:30 p.m., May 5-6, 11-13, $10 general admission, free to students with ID, Broadcast Studio Theater, 1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.692.4000, tacoma.uw.edu

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