A chat with Hannah Valdovinos on the unexpected

Q: In this play, things are not quite as they seem. Despite the realistic nature of the situation and setting, there is an undercurrent of both mystery and spirituality that permeate the script, making it somewhat slippery and mercurial. It’s quietly profound and unpredictable. What excites you most about this script and (without giving anything away) have you had any interesting revelations about the play during rehearsals?

A: It’s the layers of the people and even the setting of the play that excite me most about Between Riverside and Crazy, especially how Guirgis masterfully reveals them to us. When you first read the play, there are definitely twists and turns that are unexpected that make you want to read it again almost immediately. During rehearsals though, hearing the words out loud and watching these characters come to life made me realize just how human they are and how mystical the entire story is. Not a single character is exactly who you think they are, and even more exciting is that they surprise themselves and each other the way we do in real life. We watch these people get to know themselves while they try to figure out not just what they have, but also what they want and what they’ll do to get that. The play often touches on what is right vs. what is real, another poignant subject that, despite being hard for most of us to put into words, Guirgis illustrates gracefully throughout his work.