Playwright Julia Blauvet’s Two Hander Gets Debuted at NJ REP
Photo Courtesy: NJ Rep

Playwright Julia Blauvet’s Two Hander Gets Debuted at NJ REP

In the world of contemporary theater, where the exploration of human psychology and intimate relationships often takes center stage, Julia Blauvelt’s “Two Hander” emerges as a compelling addition, making its world premiere at NJ REP. This play, an intricate dance between a therapy first-timer, Claire, and her unorthodox therapist, Diana, promises to delve deep into themes of trust, betrayal, and the complex dynamics of human connection. In a conversation with playwright Julia Blauvelt, we get a glimpse into the creative process behind this anticipated production. 

Blauvelt describes “Two Hander” as “a love letter to two of the important teachers in my life: theater and therapy.” This acknowledgment sets the tone for a play that is not just a narrative but a reflection on the transformative power of human interaction within the therapeutic and theatrical frameworks. The inspiration behind the play springs from Blauvelt’s fascination with human behavior and the potential for rule-breaking within structured settings like therapy. This premise offers a fertile ground for exploring the nuances of vulnerability and the growth that stems from it.

Playwright Julia Blauvet’s Two Hander Gets Debuted at NJ REP

Photo Courtesy: NJ Rep (Jill Eikenberry and Ella Dershowitz in Two Hander at NJ Rep. Photo by Andrea Phox)

Claire and Diana, the protagonists of “Two Hander,” embark on personal trajectories marked by ascent and decline, respectively. Their relationship, propelled by mutual fear and resistance, becomes the axis around which the story unfolds. Blauvelt intricately crafts these characters to highlight the fragile yet profound bond forming between them, navigating through their vulnerabilities and defiance. The delicate balance between building trust and the looming shadow of betrayal is meticulously handled by emphasizing the characters’ humanity— their flaws, fears, and the raw emotions that drive them.

Drawing from personal experiences and a deep curiosity about the dynamics of therapist-patient relationships, Blauvelt infuses “Two Hander” with authenticity and emotional depth. The play imagines a scenario where the professional boundaries of therapy are blurred, inviting the audience to reflect on the nature of connection and the cost of vulnerability.

The intimate setting of a therapy room, central to the narrative, underscores the play’s exploration of human connection. Blauvelt eloquently points out that both theater and therapy are spaces where stories are witnessed, creating a unique intersection that enriches the storytelling. This setting serves as a microcosm for the characters’ journeys, emphasizing the intensity and complexity of their interactions.

“Two Hander” not only delves into the intricacies of the therapist-patient relationship but also broadens its scope to examine the universal craving for genuine connection. Blauvelt aspires for the audience to see themselves in the characters’ stories, fostering a collective experience of vulnerability and empathy. The play challenges viewers to confront their own barriers to connection, inviting a moment of shared vulnerability within the safe confines of the theater.

Reflecting on the development and production of “Two Hander,” Blauvelt shares memorable moments that highlight the play’s evolution and the chemistry between the actors, Jill and Ella. Their dynamic performance brought the characters to life, validating Blauvelt’s intuition and enriching the play’s emotional landscape.

Blauvelt’s background in dramatic writing, honed at NYU, informs her nuanced approach to character development and dialogue, allowing “Two Hander” to navigate complex emotional territories with sensitivity and insight. The play’s themes—witnessing, sharing, and healing through storytelling—are deeply important to Blauvelt, reflecting her belief in the transformative power of being seen and heard.

The journey of “Two Hander” from concept to stage is a testament to the collaborative spirit of theater. Blauvelt’s experience with NJ Rep has been a nurturing and validating process, culminating in a production that resonates with both the playwright and the audience. As Blauvelt looks ahead to future projects and collaborations, “Two Hander” stands as a poignant exploration of the depths of human connection, promising a moving experience for audiences at NJ REP.

“Two Hander” is not just a play; it is an invitation to witness and participate in the raw and intricate dance of human connection set against the backdrop of a therapy room. Through Claire and Diana’s journey, audiences are offered a mirror to their own vulnerabilities and a reminder of the redemptive power of understanding and being understood.

“Two Hander” is directed by SuzAnne Barabas and stars Golden Globe Winner and 5 Time Emmy nominee Jill Eikenberry and Elaa Dershowitz. For tickets and more information, please visit NJ . NJRep is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey, 07740. Two Hander will begin promptly at 7:30 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with additional matinees on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 PM.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

Share this article


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Artist Weekly.