Hero’s House – Dixon Place, New York
Writer: Lake Simons
Director: Lake Simons & Matt Acheson
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Making its current home at Dixon Place on the Lower East Side, Lake Simon’s Hero’s House explores the meaning of home and shelter through movement theatre, puppetry and music.
This ensemble piece is an exercise in joyous exploration. The sense of newness each cast member brings to playing within the space and creating homes from various materials, of different scales, and with varying success is engaging and charming. The innocence of a child and the desire to protect is a deep vein throughout, and the rich evocative ore mined from that theme offers a tremendous payoff. There is no dialogue, only occasional vocalizations of weather changes (“rain,” “wind,” etc.), and the narrative is loose and largely tangential to the experience of this production. Understanding the ABCs of exactly what is happening from moment to moment is far less important than leaning into the journey unfolding and feeling along with the characters.
The use of paper craft is notable, with masks, shelters, and props largely composed of paper. Paper as a blank slate, a symbol of creation, is not to be overlooked, nor is its tenuous strength against the elements. What we create can be destroyed, either by our own hands or forces outside of ourselves, but that does not render the creation wasted or forgotten. Rather, we build upon the memory of what was once there, and even through the loss of everything, the memory of security remains and emboldens us to continue our journey.
Hero’s House is a captivating, touching one-hour experience that leaves the audience feeling hopeful. The tangible joy permeating the room at the conclusion of the performance, both onstage and in the house, is infectious and emboldening. Much like some of the shelters in the play, this run is short-lived, so it’s best to get to Dixon Place soon to live in the magical world this ensemble creates.
Runs until 17 November 2018 | Image: Peter Yesley