Emmy-nominated actress takes the lead in Old Globe’s Bethany
By Diana Saenger
With the West Coast premiere of “Bethany,” The Old Globe Theatre’s Artistic Director Barry Edelstein continues his mission to bring new voices in the American theater to San Diego. Written by Laura Marks and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, the drama runs through Feb. 23 at the The Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.
When bright, hard-working Crystal (Jennifer Ferrin) falls on bad times, she moves into a suburban house with a kind stranger. Her new roommate, Gary (Carlo Albán), turns out not to be what she expected. What lies ahead for Crystal unfolds through the journey of “Bethany.”
Television, film and stage actress Ferrin is rarely without a project. She has a continuing job on “Hell on Wheels”; will appear in the series “The Knick,” directed by Steven Soderbergh; has played in “The Following,” “Life on Mars,” “Royal Pains,” “The Good Wife,” “Unforgettable,” “White Collar,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Boardwalk Empire” — to name a few.
“ ‘Bethany’ ” is just right for me,” she said. “I’ve been looking for a play with a small ensemble, and I’m very excited to work with a female director. There’s a part in the play that talks about the power of positive thinking. I really believe in that because I was really putting this vibe out there to work on this kind of project and it came my way.”
Ferrin characterizes Crystal as a woman
dedicated to her job, though the balance of wanting to enjoy it as well as her personal life, is a struggle. “I think most women are trying to accomplish this and often without support,” Ferrin said. “A lot of Crystal’s strength comes from being able to do that. She has so much at stake and goes through so much, and that’s what drew me to this play. Because I have to constantly navigate throughout her journey, it makes the work exciting and worth the effort.
“Crystal is an optimist whose charm and ability as a sales woman is at the forefront of who she is and how she moves through life. It will be interesting for the audience to see how she comes up against some real struggles where her attributes no longer work. Watching Crystal persevere with drive
and passion in these circumstances will be an inspiration to those in the theater.”
Ferrin said she met director Upchurch at school, became friends, and worked with her at the Lincoln Center on “The Language of Angels.”
“I had seen ‘Bethany’ in New York, and was adamant that I wanted to work with Gaye,” Ferrin said. “She’s an incredible generous director and she never makes you feel like you made a mistake, she just steers you toward a better choice — and that is such a positive experience. “
Ferrin has been nominated for two Emmys for her role on “As the World Turns.” She is classically trained and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
■ When: Matinees and evenings, Jan. 25-Feb. 23
■ Where: The Old Globe Theatre’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park, San Diego
■ Tickets: From $29
■ Box Office: (619) 234-5623
■ Website: TheOldGlobe.org
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