The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies has launched its 2019 mainstage show, House on Fire – A post-hope comedy. This year’s production is a newly devised outrageous comedy directed by Martha Ross and performed by the students of DRM403Y1: Advanced Performance: Mainstage.
"For the last eight weeks, I have been with the talented and fearless students of DRM403 as we created a new piece of theatre about hope,” said Ross. “Hope, we quickly discovered, is not an easy concept to come to terms with.”
The play centres around a ragtag group of panellists who assemble at a public symposium to discuss hope and whether it is a curse or a blessing. The play draws on scenes from the Classics while the panellists reflect on philosophical questions around the concept of hope.
“I thought a lot about hope during our creation,” said cast member Büke Erkoç who plays the character Denzie. “House on Fire was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life; exploring with Martha made me so happy.”
In this exploration of hope, the play draws on the infamous quote, reflected in the play’s title, from the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who recently addressed the UN Council:
"I often hear adults say: ‘We need to give the next generation hope’…But I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And I want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is." — Greta Thunberg
The cast, production and design team, and instructors pulled the show together under some challenging time constraints, but with a great deal of collaboration, team work and putting heads together, were able to pull off a production that is exceptionally creative, funny and touching.
“I have had the most amazing and challenging experience of my life in this show,” commented Stage Manager Beka Morrison. “Developing a show of this scale in two months is difficult in and of itself. The actors and Martha have done such incredible work and I’m so proud of what we have been able to pull off.”
Ross explained that through a lot of hard work, a fantastic spirit of play and a resolute desire to succeed at finding truth and comedy, the cast created House on Fire: A post-hope comedy.
“From nothing came something,” said Ross. “I am so incredibly proud of the whole bunch of them: the actors and the crew. It’s enough to give me hope."
To find out the answer to the age-old question is hope a curse or a blessing, check out House on Fire – A post hope comedy running from March 7 to 9, and March 12 to 16 at 8 pm. To order tickets, visit houseonfireuoft.eventbrite.ca
To read more about the show, visit: uoft.me/houseonfire