Hannah Bos

Hannah2.reffinery071514revlon_26477Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Theater is not dead. We repeat: Theater is NOT dead. And, New York-based burgeoning playwright and actress Hannah Bos is a testament to the fact that a career in theater can work — if you do things your own way. It's fortuitous that Bos’ name is pronounced just as it should be: BOSS. Because, when it comes to the world of independent theater, Bos calls the shots. Being a cofounder of the Obie Award-winning theater company, The Debate Society (with partners Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler), means having complete creative control over its hilarious, dark plays.

Bos can bring mere seeds of ideas to the table and see them blossom into full-blown productions, exactly the way she and her team envisioned them. These ideas include the sold-out run of Blood Play, a comedy-thriller set in the '50s about what happens when parents party in a suburban basement, and forthcoming shows like Jacuzzi, a very funny, yet scary play about a Colorado ski chalet set in 1991 (and yes, there is a working hot tub on stage the whole time). And, when Bos isn’t baring her soul onstage every night, she’s filming performances for the entire Internet to take in, as
co-creator, writer, and actor for the web series, Timeless Seasons, and so many more indie films. Keep your eyes peeled for this rising star.

Hannah3. reffinery071514revlon_26304Photographed by Ben Ritter.

Why I chose a creative life
“Every day, it’s pretty bonkers. The same spark that makes me want to do something makes me not want to do it. The biggest risk is to not question what I do. I think that’s the fun challenge of being in the arts. Being a writer and an actor is a pretty risky life choice.”

Send ‘em for a ride
“Our plays are very theatrical, funny, and dark. We don’t really have one theme, but we always find our voice and our way of telling the story. Sometimes our plays are creepy, but I want everyone to leave happy as a general rule. It’s a wild ride that our plays go on. They can be mysterious.”

The best part about my job
“I love theater because it’s not permanent and not that many people see it. All these people are in a tiny darkroom watching a story unfold, and it’s something that only exists in memory after the fact. It’s hard to capture on film what theater is. If you do, it always translates so weird, like a BBC special from the ‘70s or very Rushmore. [Theater] is sad and beautiful. Such a weird, lovely, funny profession.”


How indie theater gets made
“Producing and making theater is pretty hard, but it’s so satisfying when it happens and when something works out. When we started we were doing it in tiny black boxes and we would do stoop sales and chili cook-offs to raise money. For our first couple of plays, we built our own sets. The audience starts with your friends, and then you see more and more people in the audience that you don’t recognize, which is always exciting. It’s a gradual, slow, lovely journey.”

The biggest challenge for stage actors
“You can feel a room full of people either digging it or not — and it’s a crazy experience to have to ride out if they’re not. Sometimes you forget lines, and it’s horrible. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in. You constantly go over all of your lines, all of your blocking, and that’s your mantra: An hour and a half of this world and person you have to be. It’s scary when you forget.”

The three things that scare me
“Taking myself too seriously and worrying scares me. Not enjoying the moment scares me. And, there’s a clown going around a Brooklyn cemetery — that terrifies me.”

Hannah4.reffinery071514revlon_26621Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Saunder dress, Charlotte Olympia heels, Erickson Beamon necklace.
Photographed by Ben Ritter; Hair & Makeup by Katie Mellinger; Styled by Laura Pritchard.

More from Movies

R29 Original Series