Home, by Geoff Sobelle, is a captivating performance partnered with illusion and intricate engineering that builds a house right before your eyes and shows the complexities of what it is like for people living like anyone else. Through this there was relatability and allowed the audience to experience the questions of what is home and when do we know it is a home?
The story of “Home” began with two small lights, a wooden frame and two plastic sheets.
When a man in casual clothes came to the stage directly from the auditorium instead of the background, I thought he was a staff at first. When he assembled the materials into a wall and changed the scene into a small bed and a door, I realized that he was an actor. There were many different people in and out of the door, such as women, boys, and elderly. Not too long after that, several decorators appeared, converting the scene into a larger house and starting to carry furniture inside. I could gradually distinguish the kitchen, living room, bathroom, study and bedroom.
Until the last piece of furniture was moved in, the hostess walked into the house with flowers, and a complete “home” appeared. The new day began with a simulation of sunshine through the venetian blinds on the second floor window and realistic barking. From getting up and washing, dressing up, and carrying the packages out, the actors presented us with different lives of different roles. The elderly did housework, the child went to school and adults went to work. This reminded me of my own life. Before I entered the college, every day after I get up, my mother drove me school and then came back to do housework. My dad had to work every day, occasionally going on a business trip. People in a home methodically handled their own life.
The most amazing thing that shocked me was in the second part. Actors began to interact with the audience actively. The little boy stepped down and invited us to taste the olives (I tasted one, but it was sour). The other actors let the audience stand and put the string of lights on the top of the head. They also invited many audience, including several of my friends, to come to the stage and participate in the party and celebrate the birthday. I was still thinking about the logic of plot just before this part, such as what the meaning is when actors entered and exited from the door at the beginning. But when the audience cheered, I felt that the logic of the story was no longer so important. Now I am part of the story, and I am also completing this story about Home.
I was immersed in the performance until the end. It turned out that interacting with the audience is the most direct way to get audience into the situation. I could not refuse this kind of interaction, which was a wonderful experience I have never had before.
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.
In Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Geoff Sobelle’s Homecaptivated the audience on Friday night. The play brought together theater, illusions, and some impressive engineering for the set that was used. The performance pressed the audience to consider the true meaning of a home as we watched the lives of several characters play out in one space.
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.
From the beginning of the one-act play by Geoff Sobelle, Home was a little confusing for me. And as the story went on I was still confused. It was a lot of inner working parts that require people to sit down and replay what they saw and felt. Even though I was confused and was struggling to find meaning, now as I am looking back I realized I kind of enjoyed the display.
Geoff Sobelle brings his interpretation of home for the people of Champaign-Urbana
Written by Edward Huang
On a chilly Friday evening, guests gathered at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center for the Performing arts, eager to see what “Home” by Geoff Sobelle had in store for them. The stage was set with a display of mystery. There were bright lights glaring at the audience, preventing them from seeing anything in the dark backstage. I felt that this built up the interest of the crowd. When an actor from the audience walked onto the stage, the crowd waited in silence, all with piqued curiosity for what was to come.
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.