“Hello and welcome back
Have you been here before?
Does it feel familiar?”
-Geoff Sobelle, Artist Statement from the play Home
Geoff Sobelle and his cast of six reach out to the better parts of humanity with their production of Home. On the train to ArtsEmerson I got this strange feeling that this play would change my life. I have never seen a show that had such a welcoming spirit. Even the tone of the Artists Statement in the playbill made me feel welcome. I knew this group of artists were here to take care of me, that they wanted me to open myself to let them in. That for these next two hours, this theater would be my home.
“Remember the feel? The light. The smell. The unnamable thing that turns a simple set of coordinates into some psychic shelter rooted deep inside of you. How will you find your way home? How will you know once you get there?”-Geoff Sobelle
Did you see it? For anyone who couldn’t see it, the show was completely movement based, the action focusing primarily on the everyday tasks we do in the privacy of our homes. It was the most compelling piece of theater I have seen this year…and no one spoke. The play starts with the actors building their home onstage. When I say “home” I mean they built an entire house onstage. So we were the first to see this new world created onstage, just for us.
But do you want to know the most beautiful part? For an hour and forty minutes I got to watch people, real people onstage who had this connection they were not even aware of. Because everyone brushes their teeth, everyone does their laundry or unloads groceries, and everyone poops. So here was this intricately interwoven piece of theater with people of all races existing parallel to each other sharing the beauty, the feeling of what it means to live. And they were willing to fully open their arms to their audience and share that feeling with us too.
I won’t tell you everything because you’ll have your own experience.
I just want you to know that there is hope.
To glimpse those moments in people’s lives, the moments of disaster, of grief, and celebration gave me hope for humanity. Because we all hurt but we also laugh. At the end of the day, a home is a safe haven. It is the place we all return to. When that is not possible, we are not whole. So please, for those who have lost their homes, whose homes have been destroyed, it is important we give everyone the shelter, the stability and the warmth of a home they deserve.