Isabel “Izzy” Ingram ’19 knows the power of theatre to console. When her beloved grandmother passed away last year, the theatre major began writing a play about her as a way to remember a woman who had been an inspiration. Her resulting work, titled “Tiny Bubbles,” recently received a reading in New York City with Quick Silver Theater Company.
“The play focuses on a young Portuguese-Hawaiian woman, Jo, as she survives the attack on Pearl Harbor, marriage, children, relocation, getting older and what it’s like to live a life for which she had not prepared,” says Ingram. “It weaves between the major changes in Jo’s life throughout the years and the perspectives of her family members in 2015 as they see her now: an old woman.”
Ingram connected with Quick Silver through its Playrights of Color (POC) Summit, held for the past four summers at Hobart and William Smith. As an intern with the Summit for three years, she was able to act in plays next to professional actors, stage manage and participate in the backstage activities of a busy theatre company.
“The Playwrights of Color Summit feels like a thing of magic,” says Ingram. “It taught me to grow up, to take chances, to go after what I want, to communicate better, to be more responsible and intentional, to listen and to appreciate the stories that are too often neglected from bodies that are too often forgotten.”
With confidence gained from her work with the POC Summit, Ingram felt comfortable showing her play to Tyrone Mitchell Henderson, the founder and executive director of Quick Silver—and a Geneva native.
Henderson was impressed with Ingram’s work. “She’s got so much potential as a playwright,” he says. “’Tiny Bubbles’ is awesome.”
For Ingram, the reading was transformational. “I cannot emphasize enough how absolutely lovely it was to sit in a room with a bevy of experienced theatre artists and listen to them bring your words to life,” she says. “Not only did I learn a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the piece, but it was an incredibly validating experience as a recent college grad who had just written her first play and didn’t think it would go very far.”
Henderson, who says that the reading is only the first step in working toward a full presentation of the play, might disagree with that assessment. The company will continue working with Ingram to hone the play.
“It’s really our goal to connect people, so if I can match Izzy with a director that would be good to connect with, I will,” he says. “We try to connect emerging playwrights with up and coming directors so they can form a long-term relationship early on in both of their careers.”