Zephyr Community Art Studio / Santa Fe
May 3 – 5, 2018, 7 pm
“I got tired of auditioning for lame parts,” said Santa Fe actress Jessica Haring at an intimate living room preview for H2O this spring. Last year, she read Jane Martin’s one-act, two-character play from 2015 and knew its female protagonist, Deborah Elling, was the role she needed. Deborah is an evangelical Christian who moves to New York City to pursue a career in stage acting—on God’s orders, of course. She auditions for a high-profile production of Hamlet and runs headlong into Jake Abadjian, a Hollywood star who’s trying to leap from superhero schlock to serious dramatic fare. Deborah and Jake are swept up in a knock-down, drag-out rehearsal process that, like Hamlet, seems destined to end in tragedy.
Since she first picked up the script, Haring has worked tirelessly to bring H2O to the stage. This winter she rallied some formidable local talent for the independent production: musician Paris Mancini came on as director, costume designer, and sound designer; sculptor Erin Gould built a flowing set that’s lit with dazzling new media elements; and actor Julian Fox took on the character of Jake with wide-open ferocity. Together, they’ve plunged into the play’s troubled waters with a palpable sense of purpose. Deborah and Jake initially represent two highly visible extremes in American society—or perhaps the way each side fearfully imagines the other—but as their characters deepen, the poles inevitably bend into a loop. In other words, this is a play for our times. Haring, who inhabits Deborah with compassionate but unflinching attention, has indeed found a role worthy of her powers.