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EH There’s this old Mark Twain quote that

she’s like “Oh, you cheated.” That’s kinda how

the purpose of art is to alleviate shame. I

I feel. It’s why Steppenwolf (Theatre Company)

always thought that was an amazing line.

has been able to achieve the level that they

The purpose of acting in many ways is to get

have, because they are a band and they stayed

inside somebody and to be so truthful and

together and they know each other on a cellular

honest about what motivates them and what

level. I enjoy off-Broadway, because it’s a place

makes them tick to the point where people

where you don’t have to worry at all about

can see aspects of themselves in it, and when

commercial pressures. And you can really, really

they recognize those they won’t feel so alone.

focus on ideas. It’s a place where you can really

And that’s the mission of great music and any

dig deeper.

kind of great art. So, character has something to do with a value of humanity. I kinda fall in love with people and everybody’s different struggles. It’s funny, whenever I’ve worked on

JPB What kind of projects do you have planed for the future, and how do you plan to dig deeper?

Shakespeare, I have this amazing realization,

EH The truth is, for me, the future is now. This

our experiences as people feel so different and

play is something we’ve been talking about for

so unique all the time. But what’s amazing is

a couple years. There’s nothing more exciting

how consistent they are, whether you’re a king

than giving birth to a new play. So one of the

in the goddamn 15th century or whether you’re a high school student today, so much of the real need of life is the same. I don’t know if that’s what your talking about. But character is such an elusive thing. I mean, what





What is identify and what is personality? They’re kinda big questions.

There’s nothing more exciting than giving birth to a new play.” -Ethan Hawke

fantasies in my life is to be part of a group of people that originates a great new play. JPB Do you feel that’s what’s happening in your group right now? EH Well, that’s the aim. You know, it’s like what did it feel like on opening night of Streetcar? What did it feel like to originate Death of a

JPB Tell me about The New Group, you've been

Salesman? What was it like to work on the first

with them for a few seasons now and they've

production of Iceman? And for me at this time

offered you a chance to direct as well as work

there’s something very radical and punk rock

with some old friends on the stage. Can you

about doing theatre at all. We live in a world

talk about the community element of The New

that’s all about maximizing sales potential and

Group and your place in that community?

everyone’s got a camera on their phone. So a

EH I’ve always felt that there is great value in

living art form like the theatre is a real throwback.

building on working relationships, where you

It’s something that you can’t quantify and sell.

have the opportunity to get somewhere really

If you miss it, it will not be on YouTube. There’s

deep. We have a lot of shared passion for the

something that’s so beautiful about that to me.

theatre. Kind of a funny story, when Meryl

It’s like I’m a Luddite or something. It’s funny,

Streep came backstage to see HurlyBurly and

as I see the world getting more technologically

she came back stage and asked Josh Hamilton

advanced, I see the place of theatre getting even

and I about our rehearsal process and how we

more secure. There’s nothing like going to a rock


show, that kind of feeling that you’re really part

what she just saw. When we told her we’d been working together since we were eighteen,



of something. And that’s something the theatre can do for you when it’s really good.*

Encore - December 2010  

Encore Magazine - New York City

Encore - December 2010  

Encore Magazine - New York City