JACQUELINE LAWTON: What excited you about programming A MAN, HIS WIFE AND HIS HAT in The HUB Theatre’s season this year?
HELEN PAFUMI: The play can be a hard one to explain, but the clarity of the story on the stage is wonderful. The first reading of the play showed that the humor and joy in the piece kept it so well balanced even with it's looming darkness. I find that the play lifts you away with the fun of it. It is exuberant, and I love sharing that with my community.
JL: What makes playwright Lauren Yee an essential voice in the American Theatre?
HP: What was evident immediately about Lauren's writing is that she knows how to have a lot of fun. She also hit all the high notes of what attracts me to plays - great dialogue, unique characters, and a touch of something heartfelt and magical. I find I read a lot of plays that imagine hopelessness to somehow be more dramatic or magnetic than hope. To have Lauren write a play that wrestles with some very dark things in a way that is funny and still lends an aching hope at the end is something that should not be lost in our country's theatrical dialogue.
JL: You’re billing this play as a “love triangle between a man, his wife ... and his hat.” What can audiences learn from Hetchman’s journey through this remarkable “world where anything can happen, only the force of love can hold you to the ground?”
HP: Anything. They can expect absolutely anything. They may laugh and they may shed a tear. The play takes you on quite a ride.
JL: If there is one thing you want audiences to walk away knowing or thinking about after experiencing A MAN, HIS WIFE AND HIS HAT, what would that be?
HP: I would love if people walked away with a sense of gratitude for those close to them and for the memories that make up the rich relationships we have in life.
Helen Pafumi is the Artistic Director and co-founder of The Hub Theatre. Her original plays Merry, Happy...What? and co adaptation Wonderful Life (Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding New Play) have been produced by The Hub and Clara's Little Questions, was first read at the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival. In addition to her role at The Hub, Helen works as an actor in many DC area theatres, including Theatre J, Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Forum Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Rorschach Theatre, Keegan Theatre, Didactic Theatre, The Inkwell, the Source Festival, the Beckett Centenary Festival, Vpstart Crow, and Madcap Players. She has appeared in numerous independent films and commercials. Helen also does dialect coaching for George Mason University’s theatre program and privately teaches acting and public speaking. She is the recipient of the Puffin Foundation Award and the Washington Canadian Partnership Award. Helen holds a BA in Theatre from Virginia Tech.
The Hub Theatre is an award winning, professional non-profit theatre making its home in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Hub Theatre is a member Theatre Washington. The Hub has received grants from Target, the Fink Foundation, the Arts Council of Fairfax, The Friends of Lake Anne, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Arts Council of Fairfax, Integrity Applications, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
The Hub Theatre endeavors to produce work that highlights our common humanity, providing a theatrical experience that is at once challenging and inclusive. We strive to be the physical center of a dynamic circle of story, art, and community, to create the transcendent exchange unique to live theatre.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!