An interview with Eva Hase, the writer and performer of “I Hear So Extremely Loud” with an encore performance on September 11.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival has a well-earned reputation for plays with bite. Of course, theatre is the best medium for the kind of subjects that tend to bring out the best and worst in people. Or, things that divide us, or send us scurrying to our corners determined to hold tight to our principles, our guilt or our beliefs. So, a play about school shootings with sourced material directly from survivors is bound to impact…hard.
This is Ava Hase’s first self-devised theatrical project. Her short film “KITTY KITTY” recently had its online premiere on NoBudge recently and she is studying for a BA in Acting at CalArts.
“I Hear So Extremely Loud” did so well with audiences that they managed to arrange an encore performance at the Hudson on Saturday, September 11 at 8.30pm. A date with meaning.
We wondered why Ava picked such a visceral subject for her first play. It’s a tough thing to talk about, although we must, so filled with grief and anger. Taking it on in a perforative sense is a lot, especially for a budding performer. But, Ava clearly has purpose and that alone is extremely noble.
We had questions though – so we asked.
Why did you pick a solo show for this play?
I wanted to explore all of these stories intertwining, unraveling, and leading into each other, and I think a solo show was the ideal way to do that. I think the form lends itself to showing just how interconnected these experiences are. I wanted the play to feel personal, because as much as we want to convince ourselves otherwise — that a school shooting is just a sad thing that happens to other people — that it won’t ever be our problem — our story — this isn’t separate from us. It is deeply personal.
What drew you to this subject for a play?
It started out as just a passion of mine— a need to do something about this issue that felt so out of my control. Then it hit a lot closer to home. After writing the play for a year and rehearsing it for 2 months at my college (CalArts), 15 minutes away there was a shooting at Saugus High. I heard sirens outside my window, went to the vigil in central park, and all of the sudden this wasn’t just a play anymore or a little project in my head. This was scary and real and right in front of me. I ended up interviewing a student from Saugus and her story is one of the 5 in the play.
What have you learned along this journey?
If I’ve learned anything — about myself or the audiences I’ve met along the way — it’s that we really do care. Truly. We may put on this mask of apathy and pretend to be separate and numb, but I promise you, we care. A lot. This apathy isn’t who we really are. I promise.
If you missed Fringe, or simply missed this show, I strongly recommend you click on the below link and buy a ticket. We must support meaningful art and their creators, just as much as as everything else. Bravo to Eva, Oscar and the rest of her team.
“I Hear So Extremely Loud” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Saturday, September 11 @ 8:30pm
The Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038