U.S. Embassy Sponsors Premiere of “Water by the Spoonful” at HighFest

"Water by the SpoonFul" performance rehearsal.
“Water by the SpoonFul” performance rehearsal.

The U.S. Embassy announces the premiere of the 2012 U.S. Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama Water by the Spoonful during the HighFest international arts festival on October 2 at the Yerevan Puppet Theater.  The play explores the trauma experienced by a wounded veteran of the Iraq war and his struggles to reintegrate into “normal” life.  Special guests attending the premiere included U.S. Ambassador John A. Heffern, Mr. Armando Riesco, the actor who originated the lead role during the U.S. premiere, and former U.S. Marine Elliot Ruiz, the person on whom the original play is based.

The play was chosen by the Embassy with the hope of generating a discussion among Armenian audiences about how society has coped with the young men who have returned from wars and their military service with deep wounds, both internal and external.  Water by the Spoonful raises issues not generally addressed in Armenia, highlighting problems of post-war trauma and disability.

Mr. Riesco has worked with the creative team in Armenia on the staging via a series of digital video conferences and arrived in Armenia this week to help them to finalize the production and attend the premiere.   While in Armenia, Mr. Riesco is conducting master classes with young Armenian playwrights, talking with the media about the inspiration for the play, and meeting with cultural contacts to discuss contemporary American drama.  American director KJ Sanchez also worked with the Armenian team via digital video conference during the early stages of the production.  Mr. Ruiz is also assisting with the Armenian adaptation of the play and is speaking with young military recruits and Armenian veterans about his experiences as a U.S. Marine.

The play will be performed a total of ten times, including twice during HighFest.  The last performance is November 24. Entrance is free and open to the public.