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Rivalry at the forefront of ‘Blood and Water’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico desert conceals the motivation lurking behind two brothers’ explosive rivalry.

The world premiere of Andy Mayo’s “Blood and Water” opens at the Aux Dog Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 12, and runs on weekends through Sept. 29.

Justin Estes, Tristana Gonzalez and Jeff Dolecek star in “Blood and Water.” (Courtesy of Russell Maynor)

Steffi is a fashion editor working within the shallowness of appearance. But she possesses a deeper curiosity.

Determined to mine the truth about her financier husband, Art, she wants to know whether he helped his brother launch a water business out of generosity or spite.

“It’s about what happens to three people, one of whom is intent on revenge,” Mayo said. “It’s about resentment and its consequences.”

Each sibling wants to dominate the other. Steffi serves as the detective.

The playwright moved to Albuquerque 11 years ago to be closer to family after retiring from business in Chicago and Seattle. The play’s development included a reading at the Chicago Dramatists Center for New Play Development. It also received a staged reading sponsored by the Chicago Dramatists.

“I wanted to look at the consequences of revenge, because I think it really poisons people,” Mayo said. “The other (inspiration) is the issue of water.”

Several readers have glimpsed Sam Shepard’s rock ‘n’ roll turmoil in Mayo’s excavation of sibling rivalry.

“I didn’t write it with him in mind, but everyone who has read it thinks Sam Shepard,” he said. “I think ‘visceral’ is not a bad adjective in the script. These guys are really out to get each other.”