The Way of Water

A play by Caridad Svich

Full-length. Two acts. Cast: 2 men (30s), 2 women (30s). Set: single, two-location set. Running
time: 2 hours.

Synopsis: The Way of Water is a play that pits the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico next to the lives of those affected by it. It’s a story about four people making do as best they can, living their lives, and trying to stay afloat in the land of many compromised dreams, as the devastation of a health and environmental crisis scandal in the US Gulf is played out on a human scale. It’s a play about poverty in America, rumors and truth, what is said and what gets written, and the quest for an honorable life.

Background: An explosion on April 20, 2010, aboard the Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig working on a well for the oil company BP one mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, led to the largest “accidental” oil spill disaster in history. Residents who live along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, all the way from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, to well into western Florida, continue to suffer acute symptoms attributed to ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals being released from BP’s crude oil and the toxic Corexit dispersants used to sink it. Thousands of deaths along the Gulf Coast region have been linked to this toxic damage. This devastation is being deemed by many in the health and science field as the equivalent of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Script History: This play receives a workshop production in September 2012 under the direction of Wendy Knox at Frank Theatre in Minneapolis.

This play was developed in a 2011 Winter Writers Retreat, 2012 Roundtable Reading, and 2012 Studio Retreat, all at the Lark Play Development Center, New York City.

A NoPassport theatre alliance international reading scheme for the play sustained 50 readings between April 3-June 4, 2012 at venues across the US, including Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago, Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City, Main Street Theatre in Houston, Off the Hyphen Theatre in Baton Rouge, ScriptWorks and Hyde Park Theatre in Austin, and abroad (in Berlin, London, Glasgow, Wales, Tasmania, Pretoria, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro) Dramaturges: Heather Helinsky and R. Alex Davis. (

Industry publication: THE WAY OF WATER launches in July 2012 the publication of a new subscription-based monthly industry-aimed e-book/magazine called StageReads LLC founded by Meredith Lynsey Schade and Jody Christopherson. The new publication is dedicated to promoting worthy new writing for the stage, and serves as platform between the development phase of a script and full production. To read Goodman Theatre
Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez’s introduction to the play in advance of publication,  please visit

“For over a decade Caridad Svich has been creating a body of work that pushes American playwriting out of the living room and into direct conversation with the larger, bustling world. In play after play she puts people and ideas on stage that we rarely if ever hear in this country. The Way of Water is a beautiful, ambitious story that, like all her work, asks hard questions and leaves the answering to others. Her voice and her restlessness inspire.” – JT Rogers, Playwright (OSLO)

Selected Interviews, Articles, and Radio Interviews about the Play:

Interview about the piece in The Huffington Post:

Articles in American Theatre, Howlround, TCG Circle, Platform UK, 2amtheatretheatermania:

In print edition only of AMERICAN THEATRE magazine, April 2012 issue, “Where there’s a Way.” by Rob Weiner-Kendt.


Preview Article in Wales Online

NPR Interviews:

NPR: Jefferson Exchange Public Radio

The Way of Water: The play’s the thing, and while in this case it may not catch the conscience of the king, organizers hope it will raise awareness of poverty, health and environment in the U.S. “The Way of Water” dramatizes life after the Gulf Oil Spill, and nationwide readings on April 9 commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the spill. Playwrite Caridad Svich joins us to talk about the play and the readings.

PODCAST 4/6 Hr 1: First Friday Arts segment + Play on BP spill: “The Way of Water”:

KSFR-FM Radio Cafe interview with Mary Charlotte Domandi and The Way of Water ensemble, broadcast Wednesday, April 18. link to podcast  Teatro Paraguas presents a staged reading of The Way of Water, a new play by Caridad Svich which focuses on the lives of two Louisiana couples in the aftermath of the BP Gulf oil spill in April 2010. Over 50 readings are taking place around the country and the world in April. 8:00 pm. Free.

WUSF Tampa Public Radio
It’s not often you hear about a play based on an environmental disaster. But playwright Caridad Svich has done just that. It’s called “The Way of Water,” and was timed to mark the two-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The play looks at the spill’s effects on human health and the environment from the viewpoint of two affected families. WUSF’s Steve Newborn talks about the play with Svitch.

KUHF Houston Public Radio
“The Way of Water”Playwright Caridad Svich and Houston stage-director Rob Kimbro talk about Ms. Svich’s play The Way of Water, written in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Theater companies across the country are presenting staged readings of the drama, marking the second anniversary of the nation’s worst environmental disaster in history. The local reading takes place at Main Street Theater’s Chelsea Market playhouse.

Caridad Svich and Rob Kimbro talk with St.John Flynn.


Review of Minneapolis Developmental Production


Preview for Wales procduction