Body of Water by Lee Blessing


Nominated Bay Area Critics Circle
Best Production 2009 and Best Female Performance
for Holly Silk

A cross between Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett … you stay riveted as you try to puzzle out the play’s reality … Halsey Varady strikes just the right mixture of anger, amusement, cruelty and empathy, keeping us effectively of-balance … endlessly interesting. ” – San Francisco Examiner

Don’t miss!” – San Francisco Chronicle

A cryptic game of cat-and-mouse in the oblique manner of Albee and Pinter … Stephen Drewes’ production plays its mind games with dexterity.” – Silicon Valley Mercury News

A middle-aged couple awakes in a beautiful summer house on a hill, surrounded by trees and glimpses of water. There’s just one problem. They can’t remember their own names, much less the relationship between them. Their pursuit of memory yield both comic and terrifying results, leaving them adrift on a leaky raft of postmodern anxiety. A suspenseful and mysterious exploration of the deep relationship between memory and identity.

Playwright Lee Blessing
Venue Exit Theatre
Address 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Director Stephen Drewes
Cast Holly Silk
James Allen Brewer
Halsey Varady
Other Credits Justin D. Schlegel, Stage Manager
Ted Hlavac, Assistant to the Director
Tyler Null, Lighting/Sound Design
Chris Early, Board Operator
Performance Dates November 6-22*, 2009


*Nov 21 performance featured a special post-show conversation with the author, Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing (Playwright), perhaps best known for his play A Walk in the Woods, has been a major force in post-1960’s American theater. Blessing’s plays are considered by many critics to be truthful, often controversial explorations in the variances of human relationships.

Stephen Drewes (Director) a fifth-generation San Franciscan.  He began his career in 1970 as an actor at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Since then, he has performed over forty roles with such companies as the Magic Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He holds an MA from UC Berkeley in Dramatic Art and an MFA in Directing from Brandeis University. Drewes accepted his first professional directing assignment in 1975 for the People’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA, and has since directed over 80 productions in every genre from children’s theatre to grand opera. He has been a member of the faculty at Boston University, Middlebury College and Colgate University, and was Artistic Director for the Publick Theatre in Cambridge, MA, where three of his productions won Boston Critics Circle Awards for Directing. Drewes has taught and directed extensively, published theatre and cabaret criticism, and has been the recipient of grants from the Packard Foundation and the California Arts Council. For three years he was the Resident Stage Director for the Pocket Opera. Drewes taught at City College of San Francisco from 1988 to 2008.

James Allen Brewer (Moss) James Allen Brewer trained as an actor with Uta Hagen at HB Studio in New York City and at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. He began his professional career as a singer and dancer, touring nationally and internationally, and appeared in regional theatre when he was tapped by cartoonist Garry Trudeau to embody “Doonesbury” rock star “Jimmy Thudpucker,” co-writing the music and lyrics and providing the character’s voice for the Academy Award-nominated film, based on the comic strip, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes. In 2005 he produced, co-created, and starred in Simply Sondheim – A 75th Birthday Salute, San Francisco’s concert tribute celebrating the life and work of legendary Broadway composer / lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

Holly Silk (Avis), a fourth generation San Franciscan, began her career in the arts as a dancer, ultimately touring with Dick Bright’s SRO fo r16 years, performing throughout the world. She has been and continues to perform as the “Girl in the Fishbowl” at San Francisco’s legendary Bimbos 365 Club in Northbeach. Her previous experience with Spare Stage was as Cory in Private Eyes.

Halsey Varady (Wren) grew up in Los Altos and as a teenager sang with the San Francisco Girls Chorus with whom she toured extensively in the US, Japan, and China, and performed with San Francisco Opera. She attended Yale University where she sang with a cappella groups touring Asia and Europe. Her Bay Area credits include Pickles in The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Brenda Lee, Petula Clark, and Janis Joplin in Beehive, the 1960s Musical; and Girleen in The Lonesome West, all with san Jose Stage Company. She played Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew with The Shady Shakespeare Players, Helen of Troy in The Trojan Women at Foothill College and the title role in Gypsy with Saratoga Drama Group. In Washington DC she played Belle in Ford’s Theatre’s Production of A Christmas Carol and performed for then president George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush at the White House.

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