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Water

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Amina Henry
August 11, 2013

What is your job on this show?
playwright.

What is your show about?
In a dry part of Ethiopia, friends Sela and Bo go on a journey to the distance well to retrieve water, learning about the power of storytelling, friendship, faith and magic along the way.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I like working on theater that doesn't feel finished. I like scary theater, theater that makes you laugh and cry and think about things in a new way.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that explores the issue of water drought in many parts of the world. It is also the only show that features a fight between a wild cat and a little boy.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I wanted to write this show because I really wanted to write a show that children could enjoy and learn from, but that adults could find entertaining as well. I tend to write fairy tale-like plays for adults, but fairy tales for children are also important. I settled on my story when I saw a documentary about the water crisis - I forget which one - and how it affects everything in Third World countries from nutrition to a child's ability to go to school. I was very moved.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
Lady Macbeth would like my show because she believes that there are spiritual powers and there is a very powerful spirit in my play. Rosalind might also like my show because it features a young girl who must be brave in the face of the unknown.

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Diversity is crucially important to me, in both the theater I see and, especially, because this is something that I have the power to control, the theater I make.