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Paulanne Simmons

There’s No Play Like “Home”

"Ribbon of Highway," part of "Home," peeformed by Red Fern Theatre Company at 14th Street Y. L-R: Will Shaw, Satomi Blair, Daniel Kublick and Molly Carden.
Photo by Steven Williams

14Th Street Y
344 East 14th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues
From April 11, 2013
Thursday through Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm with an additional performance on Monday, April 15 at 7pm
Closing April 28, 2013
Tickets: $20 866-811-4111 or www.redferntheatre.com
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons April 13, 2013

Even with the best of intentions, socially conscious theater is not always good theater. Not so with Red Fern Theatre Company, whose current show, “Home,” an evening of one-acts exploring how the place we live affects our life, is riveting and poignant.

If the fact that a portion of ticket sales from this production will be donated to Habitat for Humanity is not enough reason to see the show, surely the high quality of the writing and performances should be.The five plays are written, directed and acted by different people.

“Tanner’s Last Stand,” written by Jen Silverman and directed by Erik Pearson, is about a man who sits on his porch, shotgun in hands, and swears he will shoot anyone who tries to take the house from him.

“Doing Something Good,” written by J. Holtham and directed by Elizabeth Flax, features a group of people learning how to become telemarketers, one of whom is mostly interested in doing something constructive for the world.

“A Ribbon of Highway,” written by Ashlin Halfnight and directed by Colette Robert, is about foreclosure in Detroit.

“homeward,” written by Michael John Garcés and directed by Julie Foh, brings together four people around a campfire. A storm rages around them and in them.

“Cardboard Castle,” a musical with book and lyrics by Luanne Aronen Rosenfeld and music by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, is directed by Melanie Moyer Williams. It is about two homeless people building a home out of cardboard, one determined to survive out on the streets, the other not so sure.

Red Fern manages with minimal sets. A miniature house hangs above the stage reminding the audience what the evening is about. Sound and lighting do the rest.

A few of the shows, principally “Cardboard Castles” and “Tanner’s Last Stand,” could be easily expanded into full-lengths. Only a few years old, Red Fern is a resident company at the LABA Theatre at the 14th Street Y. Over the past seven years, the RFTC has produced the revivals of ten plays, one New York premiere, four world premieres, and the world premiere of three evenings of commissioned short plays. What’s more, the company has partnered with 17 philanthropic organizations.

Oh to be young, talented and on the rise!



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