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Behind the Scenes of Interrobang Theatre Project's HERE LIES HENRY

Streaming on BroadwayWorld Events starting on February 5th!

After COVID cut the in-person run short, Interrobang Theatre Project (ITP) adjusted to a virtual screening on BroadwayWorld, available February 5-25, 2021. Elana Elyce (director) and Scott Sawa (Henry) shared their thoughts and feelings behind the show and its creation process with us.

Behind the Scenes of Interrobang Theatre Project's HERE LIES HENRY


Tell us about the show - what was the genesis behind its creation?

Elana: We remounted Henry for Interrobang Theatre Project (ITP)'s tenth anniversary. ITP had done the show twice before, but this was an opportunity for me to explore some of the themes of the show that I really connected with. However, with so much time since the last production as well as more resources, I felt like I could make it my own.

Scott: I got the script before auditions and was so tickled by the awkward hilarity of the audience interaction. Then I got into the poetry and the dark WTFery of the script and was completely hooked. I was definitely overwhelmed by the intricacy and density of the language, but the challenge of preparing 5-8 minutes of the script for the audition spurred me to pick my favorite parts, smash them up, and rehearse the hell out of it. I really just focused on delivering the most honest, vulnerable, grounded performance. And luckily that was what Elana was looking for.

Did anything unexpected happen during the creation process?

Elana: Well, definitely the fact that it was cut short and that we migrated to virtual. I didn't imagine it ever working as a recording, but it was honestly a fairly doable show to transfer to the digital space. In the rehearsal process, it was exciting to work with Scott on tapping into whatever Henry's actual truth was. The result was having these moments that feel incredibly genuine, despite Henry being unsure what was true vs. not.

Scott: The Dancing. I've been dancing privately to this kind of diva pop dance track for most of my life, but I never imagined I would do it in public. Much less that it would be received so warmly. One reviewer called my dancing graceful! The challenge was to harness that impulse to dance that I'd been exercising for years, and work through my insecurities so I could allow myself to express my inner life to the fullest. There are bad stand-up jokes interspersed with the dancing, so I had to manage my breathing as well, so I could land the jokes with the right rhythm. That all was a surprising challenge and was hugely rewarding to pull it off (or fail spectacularly) every show.

What should audiences expect when tuning in? Why should they tune in?

Elana: This show is about the nature of existence: when you're born, you have life experience, and then you die. This show is a balancing act between a painful and hopeful examination of what the truth really is, which I think highlights how a lot of us have been feeling over the last year.

Scott: I think audiences should approach this play with an open mind ready to take a journey. This is a document of one live performance translated to the recorded medium. I hope audiences feel that crackle of excitement when you're in a crowded theater together, not knowing what's coming next. Make sure you turn off the lights, turn off your phones, unwrap your hard candy, and since you're home, help yourself to some wine and popcorn - or whatever else may float your boat. Enjoy the show!

People should watch this play if they want to see a comedy-psychodrama-thriller-infomercial-mindf*ck with gay and hopeful undertones.


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