Open House was written by Aaron Landsman, commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theatre, in 24 New York City apartments, for six weeks in the spring of 2008. It still seems relevant now, maybe more so. This website is a way for other cities to take it on. In the past two years we have done city-specific remounts in Novi Sad, Serbia (presented by Kulturanova), and Phoenix, Arizona (presented by ASU Gammage).
You can also just download the script and do a version of it on your own. We’d just love to know about it via stories and photos. Rewrite for your city’s geography, politics and history. Think of this as open source Open House.
We presented Open House in all five boroughs, in as many kinds of homes as we could gain access to – from a multi-millionaire developer’s loft overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, to a squat in Bushwick before it was “Bushwick.” It was directed and dramaturged by Melanie Joseph, and performed by Raul Castillo, Heidi Schreck and Paul Willis. Visual design was by Efran Delgadillo. Sound design was by Jane Shaw.
We made the piece through researching the way cities are changing throughout the world, from industrial, economic, political and cultural viewpoints. We found that many of us, in many places, were experiencing the same kinds of turbo-gentrification and displacement, as well as incredibly localized bright spots, where communities began to control their own futures.
Ironically, OPEN HOUSE, which details a post-calamity city that has been cleared out through some amalgam of economic, environmental and political crash, ran six months prior to the actual economic meltdown in late 2008. The whole time we were working we were aware of how irrationally capitalism was behaving, and how fragile optimism seemed.