Home Arts & Entertainment Actors’ Theatre drama to highlight the struggles of everyday people

Actors’ Theatre drama to highlight the struggles of everyday people

Nubia Gomez (Yazmin Ortiz) and Brian Peerbolt (Elliot Ortiz) really get into their roles as cousins. Photo by Kayla Tucker.

By Kayla Tucker – A&E/Features Editor

A relatable drama bringing everyday, closeted struggles to light, “Water By The Spoonful” may just tug at your own secrets in one way or another. In the play written by Quiara Alegria Hudes, the personal struggles, some not obvious to the outside world or to themselves, of six people are displayed in two parallel storylines that occasionally overlap.

Each character has their own flaws along with hope for a stronger future.

Elliot Ortiz, war veteran and pill popping addict, suffers with PTSD and a distant mother recovering from crack-cocaine. He is warmed by the company of his cousin Yazmin Ortiz, or Yaz, who struggles with her love life.

“You really get to see who they are and how they grow together,” said Nubia Gomez, who plays Yaz, referring to the relationship between Elliot and Yazmin.

An online chat room of recovering crack addicts that go by their usernames, Haikumom or Odessa, Orangutan, Chutes&Ladders, and Fountainhead, make up the second running plot line.

While the chat room serves to represent the recovering addicts’ lives of “two worlds within (their) own,” Gomez also said that it creates beautiful friendships and defeats the negative stereotypes of online relationships.

Gomez said that her part is emotionally draining in the ways that she personally relates to some of the main themes in the production.
“Obviously it’s hard, but in other ways it’s refreshing,” Gomez said. “Even if you haven’t had something specific like that (happen to you), you can definitely recognize and connect to the pain.”

“Water By The Spoonful” will be showing at 8 p.m., Jan. 29 through 31 and Feb. 5 through 7. Tickets can be purchased at actorstheatregrandrapids.org.