HOME from Homegrown Theatre is a rarity; a suspenseful horror play and one that doesn’t suck. Ben Dudley, known for his quirky humor, so-bad-their-good puns, and unconventional storytelling has written a taut thriller about what it’s like to feel unsafe. It’s a departure for him, for sure. And with the direction of Bus Davis keeping things tense but moving along, this one earned itself a Critic’s Pick from CityBeat.
David Levy and Mark Bowen play a couple, living in fear after they were savagely beaten inside their own apartment. Even they recognize the irony of not leaving the place where they suffered their trauma, but instead they’ve locked themselves in. Their neighbor, Tasha (Tricia Allen), looks in on them. Meanwhile, there’s a parallel story featuring Leah Strasser’s character that takes place in the same space. It mostly works.
What definitely works is the increasingly anxious tone of the piece. Levy, especially, conveys fear in a way that translates into genuine emotion. Strasser, as usual, can make any script better with her professional quality work and it’s nice to see Bowen on stage again. Allen has great presence, as well. Live sound effects by Carter Bratton keep the energy palpable, while a pulsating soundtrack plays through two-thirds of the play raising our blood pressure ever so slightly.
As I told someone after the show, I really don’t want to over think this one. I’m sure a solid analysis of the script would find flaws. I’m sure there growth opportunities in the staging and the acting. But I felt a sense of dread during the play, wondering what was coming next. In this type of show, maybe that’s all that really matters?
HOME runs again in the Art Academy Commons on the following dates:
- Jun 7, 2017 at 06:30 pm (Wed)
- Jun 10, 2017 at 08:30 pm (Sat)
Click here for more information.