In THE (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, H. Adam Harris plays four Watsons. What they all have in common is the propensity to put others before themselves, always being one of the–as Alexander Graham Bell’s dedicated assistant, Thomas A. Watson, describes in the play–“halo of shadowy figures around the hero”; one of the “other less extraordinary people whose role it has been to help the extraordinary person make his mark.” They are the ones often left in obscurity though “they were there,” their unwavering support making the big outcome possible.
But don’t think for a second that H. Adam’s Watsons are one-dimensional pushovers following a blind allegiance to some misguided concept of complete self-sacrifice to another.
“Nice people are vulnerable people, but we don’t allow them to be fully dimensional,” says H. Adam. “We perceive kind, compassionate people to be weak. But in vulnerability lies strength. It takes more work to be compassionate.”
His Watsons are tough roles to nail, requiring just the right balance between emotional vulnerability and healthy pushback. In this world of the play where non-Watsons seem fearful of being controlled by things bigger than themselves, especially love, H. Adam must embody in each of his roles “the Watson intelligence.” This is, as H. Adam describes, “an emotional intelligence” in understanding what people need from each other and the willingness to open up to that interdependency.
In short, H. Adam gets the biggest challenge of all: to show us how to be most fully human.
H. Adam Harris’ cast background:
Park Square A Midsummer Night’s Dream Representative Theatre Seattle Children’s Theatre: The Snowy Day; Children’s Theatre Company: The Jungle Book; Penumbra Theatre: Dutchman and The Owl Answers; History Theatre: Complicated Fun; Ten Thousand Things: The Unsinkable Molly Brown Training University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program Other Faculty at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists; Resident Teaching Artist with Guthrie Theater and Children’s Theatre Company; Associate Director of Programming & Lead Teaching Artist of Penumbra Theatre Company