Open House is a small play about the big city, small enough to be performed in living rooms throughout all 5 boroughs of New York City and big enough to ask how we live in our city now, and into the future. The play follows two narratives: the evocative sales pitch of a real estate salesman named Three, and the story of Rick and Jane, a young couple trying to figure out how to sustain a relationship, start a family and live as active members of a city that is out of control. Set against the backdrop of turbo gentrification, rising rents, and the insecurity of urban living, Open House asks how we can participate in the ongoing evolution of our city.
2008 : Performed in people’s living room throughout the 5 boroughs of NYC
Written by Aaron Landsman
Directed by Melanie Joseph
Featuring Raúl Castillo, Heidi Shreck, Paul Willis
Set/Lights Design Efran Degadillio
Sound Design Jane Shaw
Stage Manager David Petersen
We held one or more performances in the following neighborhoods:
Brooklyn: Bushwick / DUMBO / Williamsburg / Park Slope /Cobble Hill / Bensonhurst; Queens: Astoria / Jackson Heights / LIC /Greenpoint /Jamaica Plains; Staten Island: St. George; The Bronx: Kingsbridge / Mott Haven / Hunts Point; Manhattan: Museum Mile / Tribecca / Harlem / Upper West Side / Hells Kitchen / West Village / Greenwich Village.
“Bleakly funny and elegiac …though Landsman’s wryly satirical script targets the boho lifestyle, you’ll notice an undertow of tragedy—Castillo’s hard sell seems to be occurring after an unspecified calamity. Reinforcing the creepiness is Jane Shaw’s acute sound design, in which neighborhood noises grow subtly in volume, until it feels as if there’s no wall between you and the dark, menacing outside. We’re there to repopulate New York, at our peril. Welcome back, Open House seems to say; there went the neighborhood.” –Timeout NY
“It reveals the grinding, dehumanizing and demoralizing problem of trying to live a decent, middle class life in NYC where you are constantly trying just to keep your head above water, to enjoy simple things like meals with friends and the occasional night out.” – Culturebot