ShareThis Page
Theater

'Nobody's Home' is a bedroom drama that plays out ... in bedrooms

| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
Mason Rosenthal in a performance of 'Nobody's home' by the Medium Theatre Company.
JJ Tiziou Photography
Mason Rosenthal in a performance of 'Nobody's home' by the Medium Theatre Company.
Mason Rosenthal in a performance of 'Nobody's home' by the Medium Theatre Company.
JJ Tiziou Photography
Mason Rosenthal in a performance of 'Nobody's home' by the Medium Theatre Company.

When Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews comes to town, he doesn't just ask friends if he can crash on their couch.

He also wants to borrow their bedroom as a performance space for his site-specific work “Nobody's Home.” The piece is touring the country one bedroom at a time.

Andrews is the founder of the Medium Theatre Company, a Philadelphia-based collaborative of artists who create site-specific performances. The company is stopping in Pittsburgh from March 28 to 30 for three performances of “Nobody's Home” in three locations around the city.

Andrews directed and designed the show, which he co-authored with Mason Rosenthal, who appears as the Nobody of the title.

The work grew out of Rosenthal's desire to do a show in his own 12-foot by 12-foot bedroom, inspired by the guided-meditation techniques of German spiritual leader and author Eckhart Tolle.

“When the meditation goes wrong, the play turns into a relationship drama, then a game show and a high-school dance,” Andrews says. “The show is very funny even when it gets serious. A lot of people don't know whether they should laugh or cry.”

Andrews and Rosenthal don't drive, so they use public transportation to travel from city to city and bedroom to bedroom. That required them to restrict the show's technical elements to items that could fit into a single trunk that travels with them.

Props include a shadowy owl, some plastic turtles, a coyote, hot oil and platters of fruit. There are sound effects and choreography. Tea is served.

“The show utilizes all the senses. When you use all five senses, you are more engaged,” Andrews says.

Why choose a bedroom?

“Bedrooms create a certain kind of intimacy,” Andrews says.

The show has performed for as many as 40 in an individual audience. But Andrews prefers to limit attendees to from 10 to 20 people. And it makes it easy to get a full house on short notice, he says.

The show had its world premiere last June in Rosenthal's bedroom and has since played in bedrooms in Philadelphia; Skokie, Illinois; at Haverford College near Philadelphia; and in a recreational vehicle at the New Orleans Fringe Festival.

“It changes the show from place to place,” says Andrews, who points out that finding people willing to host a play in their bedrooms hasn't been a problem.

Many volunteers, like Kate Wendland Duncan, are people who already know Rosenthal, Andrews or their work.

“I have known Morgan for 17 years and got to see him in all of his many creative pursuits, which have always been jaw-dropping,” says Duncan, who recently relocated to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia.

“I find Morgan really inspiring,” she says. “I'm excited that his touring theater is going in a new-to-me direction and can't wait to see what he's doing with it.”

Duncan thought the production would be an unofficial housewarming party for her new home.

“It gives me a date by which I need to have everything set up,” she says. “What it needs to warm it up is a play — in my bedroom.”

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or acarter@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me