This post is written by Sandi Combs, Marketing Coordinator for Experience Columbus. You can follow Sandi on Twitter @Sandi_ExpCols .
“HOUSE/DIVIDED ,” the compelling new theater production that explores the human experience within our country’s mortgage crisis, shows this weekend at Thurber Theatre for its world premiere.
A collection of scenes woven together with digital media and live acting, the show parallels the struggle of the Joad family from John Steinbeck’s, “The Grapes of Wrath,” with true stories and reenactments of today’s foreclosure disaster. Using multiple perspectives and a foreboding score, it artfully documents the emotional and psychological story of all those connected to the current plight. The production provides an insightful and necessary examination of how these events have affected and changed our society.
I appreciated the show for a number of reasons. First, the use of video and sound in combination with live acting was well done. As opposed to just being a cool way to tell a story, the multimedia served to augment the sensory aspects of the message so that the audience could understand the nuances of the situation presented on an entirely different level. I also really liked that the topic is timely and accessible, and that it takes a step back from the plain facts of the situation to dig deeper into how the mortgage crisis has changed society.
Finally, I liked the incorporation of local voices, specifically a local resident who is an average person just like you or me. Her story about going through the foreclosure process, and subsequently grappling with her self-identity, was powerful.
“HOUSE/DIVIDED” shows tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 7-8, 2011) at 8 p.m., and then is scheduled to tour around the country. Each is followed by a Q&A with the Builders. Tickets start at $10 and are available at wexarts.org or at 614-292-3535.
“HOUSE/DIVIDED” was created and is performed by the New York theater company The Builders Association. It was co-produced by the Wexner Center for the Arts in association with the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University, with support provided from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program.
Have you seen the show? Which aspects did you like best?