Heather Haney is currently preparing to play Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice at Round House Theatre. She recently was seen in The Ramayana at Constellation Theatre Company and The Moscows of Nantucket at Theater J. Other credits include Mary Stuart at WSC Avant Bard. She has also appeared in productions at Rorschach Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company. As a choreographer her work has been seen at WSC Avant Bard and Longacre Lea.
What was your first performing job in the DC area?
My first professional acting job in DC was Invention at Play with Smithsonian ‘s Discovery Theatre. It was a blast – we got to play with all these cool inventions and I got to play an alien clad in Kevlar. We performed in the American History Museum in various corners and spaces, though now there’s a very impressive Invention at Play exhibit on the basement level.
Do you prefer performing in comedies or dramas?
I really enjoy both for different reasons. Comedy is hard – it has to be so precise! I love the challenge and the instant pay-off of making people laugh. Wanting to be funny is how I really got started performing. Drama is its own challenge but can be a lot more organic and flexible. Both really require you to live in the moment and try to be as honest on stage/screen as possible.
Have you ever performed in a musical?
I have though it is admittedly not my strength. I do love musicals, and greatly admire those who can bring them to life! And I once played a very pale Maria in West Side Story!
You performed in the world premiere of The Moscows of Nantucket at Theater J. What is the best thing about working on a new piece of theater?
I think the best part of working on a new play is having the playwright in the room with you. Working on Moscows was such a treat for so many reasons, but especially because we got to spend a lot of time working with Sam Forman. Whenever there’s a question about meaning or context, you can just ask the source. I think, too, that by putting us all in the room together to workshop and then rehearse the piece, Theater J allowed us all to play and experiment in a truly collaborative environment. It was a gift!
… And some of Virginia’s one-liners were so much fun to say every night!
What are your next few projects?
I’m about to go into tech rehearsals for Pride and Prejudice with Round House Theatre. It’s a great team to play with and features so many great local actors and designers. I have a few balls in the air for the near future but I will be returning to WSC Avant Bard this spring for The Bacchae.
Watch Heather in The Ramayana.