Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast and Crew of Henry VI - Jara Jones

Do yourself a favor. Go ahead an start running a bubble bath. Light some candles. Chill some champagne. Slip that needle onto your favorite Barry White record, and dim the lights, because you're about to fall in love. We of Hamlet Isn't Dead first met Jara at Facing Page Production's Marathon Reading series, in which dedicated actors read through the entire canon of Shakespeare, 24/7 over the course of about four days. During this series, Jara himself took part in reading over HALF of Shakespeare's complete works. So, like we implied before, get ready to fall in love.

My head says no, but my body says "SHUT UP, HEAD, YOU FOOL!"

D: Jara, how are you? How was your day?

JJ: Who told you my name?  Were you followed?  WHO SENT YOU? 
No really.  This is an unmarked address. I paid extra.  Google ain’t got me, sucker.
You, you  smell like licorice and fifty-cent watermelon aftershave.  Kind you get from a sidewalk trenchcoat peddler with no belt and a toothless, see-saw grin.
My day?  I’m a goddamn amateur scientist. Figured out today flies move slightly backwards before they take off. That gives you an extra half second to mutter some Latin, a little “Requiescat in pace” before you clip ‘em with your shoe. I gave them a week to leave the premises. Didn’t take the hint. They started perching on my lamp and throwing parties. Force had to happen. 

D: You can say that again. Now, there’s a lot of gender-bending in this play. If given another chance in the casting process, who would you rather play, Joan or Margaret, and why?

JJ: I’d be Joan, because my big secret that I’m gonna spill in this exclusive interview is that I too am a super big virgin (hello, ladies) who wins tons of battles (hello war-mongering ladies) using only the power of God (hello religious, sex-positive ladies), my intact, hyper-endurant hymen, and iambic pentameter.   Seriously though, Joan’s a more likable, more enduring source of strength in my eyes.  Maybe I’m biased, based on the characters I play, but Margaret is just a stone cold, gutless viper. She cares for no one but herself. Joan loves her country. She sacrifices herself above all.  Margaret would kill her dog if it got her an extra parking space.

D: Well, you’re playing the man who becomes Richard III down the line, and he’s a bit of a bastard. But you’re such a sweet guy. What gets you into the mindset of such a slimy character?

JJ: What’s human behavior except existing under a specific layer of circumstances? Under the right conditions, with the right amount of chaos, I’d show you with no hesitation exactly how it takes 16 pounds of pressure to rip off a human ear. I tend to play two types: earnest, extremely honest, dutiful people, or horrible, bloodthirsty sociopaths. Why? Because both men are passionate toward their singular goal. They believe in their holy work. People are drawn to their impressionable behavior.

D: We hear you’re also a bit of a poet? Care to give us a little taste? Maybe a haiku or a limerick about the Henry VI trilogy?

JJ: Am I getting paid extra for the poem?

D: No.

JJ: Will you show me your boobs?

D: …maybe.

JJ: Fine.

While Henry is down on his knees
Vile Suffolk and Margaret’s disease
Usurps his fair crown
Blood is stained ruddy brown
And a hunchback ordains his decease.

D: Inspired. Anything else we need to know about you or the show?

JJ: I like cookies and cream frozen yogurt, that gentle crease in a smile which lingers after resonating laughter, and the warmth that keeps in your eager bones after a good cuddle.  This is for E-Harmony, right??  I paid good money for one of them lady-types!  I gave you my last clean twenty bucks for this!  Don’t you walk away from me, pretty-boy!

I also write songs, poems, and other nonsense here: 

{Editor's note: Regardless of what David may claim, he would eventually go on to show Jara his boobs. He'll show you too if it'll get you to buy a ticket to Henry VI. Whatever gets butts in seats}

For tickets and more information, you can either go here:

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at 

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun. See you next month for Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3!

And remember, it's Hamlet Isn't Dead:
Theatre You Love, Whether You Like It Or Not!