Gem of the Ocean is a production brought to you by Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. It chronicles an early period in Pittsburgh where a character by the name of Aunt Ester is said to have ‘supernatural’ abilities in which she is capable of cleansing one’s soul. Throughout the play we are introduced to this idea and follow along as we see her come to understand what the newcomer Citizen Barlow has to offer, and his affect on their community as a whole. All the while reeling us in and using their stage to connect us with their story.
Geoff Sobelle’s dreamlike play took the Colwell Playhouse audience by surprise. Wood frames and staples started what would become home or a memory of it. The uncoherent scenes at the beginning sparked the curiosity of the viewers, necessary for the rest of the play. Then, the harmony of the life of the residents made us relate to them. Finally, the familiarity with the house made us dwellers.
Home became the best show I’ve ever watched last week. It was abusolutely amazing for me and, I believe, for everyone. Everything about the show including the actors, scenes, and plays.
At first, I was confused with the meaning of the story the show was trying to tell, so I was trying hard to understand every details the show displayed. At the same time, I was surprised by the tricks the actors were doing. They could just change themselves to another actor by hide themselves for a second, and that was the point I started getting interested in the show.
Later, I was getting into the story of the show. Home was telling a story about a home in which several people live. All these people seemed unrelated in the first place, but they were actually interrelated to each other. The interactions between each roles were really sweet and I felt a sense of warm inside the theatre.
At last, we were hyped by the plot where they invited plenty of the audience to the stage and participate. There was a scene depicted a night when everyone inside the house invited all kinds of friends to have a large party. I must say I enjoyed the plot so much that I was smiling all the time towards the end.
In the end, all the audience stood up and applauded for all the actors who showed up. Home is not just a show for me, but a real sweet home that night.
On September 27th, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts showcased the play Home in the Colwell Playhouse. The play slowly evolved from the silent story of one man who had built a house, the the stories of several people, each living out their own lives in the same home, unaware of the other’s very existence. Towards the end, even the audience became a central role in the amazing play, both in on stage participation and in helping to set the mood for the scene.
Geoff Sobelle’s “Home” showcases a mix of music and theatre while building a house from scratch at Colwell Playhouse in KCPA on September 27th, 2019.
“Home” starts off with a man wondering around on stage, picking up lanterns, and building a small wall out of wood and plastic sheets. As the play goes on, more characters start appearing, including the construction workers who quickly built a house in front of our very eyes. There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and office within the house. Room decor, like pictures and vases, and furniture, like couches and desks, decorated the home while the residents unpacked. The stage quickly transformed into a warm home with ambient noises, wind blowing, leaves ruffling, and dog barking, mixed with realistic lighting that portrayed day and night.
As the story unfolds, we see the daily life of each resident, from waking up to doing chores to arguing with each other. Seeing each resident live their own lives made me think and reflect on my own experiences at home. The play made me think about my morning routine and hectic schedules that I follow on a daily basis back at home and in my dorm at university. At the end of the play, the residents one by one began packing their belongings and moving out. This act made me think about the time I was moving from Minnesota to California, and then moving to university in Illinois. As a result, I could sympathize with the actors as they portrayed their lives.
To my surprise, the actors also interacted with the audience throughout the play, whether it was offering food and drinks, asking for people to stand and hold strings of lights, singing happy birthday, or bringing them on stage to be part of the act. It made the audience feel cheerful, as if they were also a part of or invited to the party. I thought this strengthened the connection between the audience and the actors to create a lasting impression and to sympathize with them by drawing more of the audience’s attention to the scene.
As someone who has no background or prior passion for contemporary dance, or classical music, I was ready for a two hour snooze-fest. What I got instead, was something pleasantly surprising.
As shown above, the actors were still arranging the set as people were walking in. This was not unsettling per say, but it did cause me to wonder whether this was for some dramatic effect, or if they really were not ready until the exact moment they began performing. It seemed to be intentional because one dancer would move something, walk away, then another dance would move the same object somewhere else. As the show went on however, and the set continued to move, it made the scene come alive and I enjoyed that very much.
As I said in my beginning, I certainly expected something much different, and much more boring than what I actually ended up seeing. The energy from both the musicians and the dancers was a breath of fresh air, and the comedy in the choreography made the whole experience a blast to watch. Even the inclusion of the musicians in the dance once or twice was an experience where I could see the performers having genuine fun, which caused me to have fun as well.
To be quite honest, the color palette of the show did not add much to the story for me, but the liveliness of the set design really held my attention throughout the story.
As I already said, I also really appreciated the inclusion of the musicians in the dancing as well. You could feel that they felt out of their comfort zone, and embraced it, and that really left a smile on my face. To me, this mostly encompassed how this play and choreography was playful.
Who would have thought that watching a dance show could bring out so much laughs! The show encompasses of Andersson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble. The layout of the show is something that I have not seen before. Similarly to the first performance we saw, which was the Jupiter Spring Quartet, it was a combination of elements that are not usually strung together. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this performance as opposed to the Spring Quartet which was more on the grey area.