This play truly surprised me, like the acronym of the place it was shown at. When I first entered the BAM Harvey Theater, I could see the disgusted looks on the people’s face as we climbed a steep sketchy staircase to our seats. I was thinking to myself, I hope no one trips and falls on these stairs, because if anyone does the slightest topple, we’d all fall down like dominoes – that would not be good. The walls were peeling; the pipes were rusted. As we arrived to our seats, we were able to see the seats were just as steep. Sitting there waiting for the play to start made me tense that I might fall over and land on the stage. It didn’t seem like the play would be good, I thought.
But then, BAM! The lights dimmed, and the production amazed me. Combining technology and ordinary theatrical props, it created an interesting appeal to the play. There were various projectors shining not just light but screens of the stock market running across the top of the stage. A house stands at the middle of the stage and light played a really nice role – it manipulated whether or not the audience could see the people clearly or just their silhouette. At the end of the play, the house surprisingly transforms into a table, with the character, Mr. Alan Greenspan. the chairman of the Federal Reserve at the time, sitting at one end answering to questions of an interview.

The context of the House/Divided was just as interesting. It combined the struggles of those in the times of the Dust Bowl, and the struggles of the mortgage crisis. Throughout the play, there were occasional clips explaining in layman’s terms what was going on. This production made the two economic crises more interesting to learn about and understand.

Many actors played multiple roles. They alternated between the scenes at the stock exchange and the house falling apart. Their enthusiasm was clearly shown on their faces as they ran back and forth onstage and backstage – which was a clear sight for those like us who were sitting up really high. Several screens zoomed into the actors face live. It made the audience really feel a part of the play.

What happened after the play ended at the ‘Talk backs” should not be left out. Surprisingly, someone had the wits to stand up and say “You blew it.” She continued to destroy the performance and create havoc and confusion. In response, the director angrily replied, “you go write your own play.” It concluded the play in a more interesting way, and I had thought I was the only one with the doubts on the play.


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