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This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome. Today's suggested topic is the Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw.

The theater company I belong to, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, produced this play last year and I just got the video up on YouTube. Beyond the fold let me share some pictures and some of my thoughts from our production.
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What is for dinner? How are you doing? What is on your mind. If you are new to Street Prophets please introduce yourself beyond the fold in a comment.

This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome. Today's Coffee Hour is brought to you by plays such as Heartbreak House that should serve as a warning to us of what can happen when money becomes more important than empathy.

There is a lot to be appreciated in George Bernard Shaw's complex play, Heartbreak House. It is a comic farce in addition to being a cautionary tale. Using a dinner party as a vehicle Shaw endeavors to both indite and identify the "complacency of the public" in the face of impending national disaster.

On the eve of World War I, Ellie Dunn, her father, and her fiancé are invited to one of Hesione Hushabye’s infamous dinner parties. Unfortunately, her fiancé is a scoundrel, her father’s a bumbling prig, and she’s actually in love with Hector, Hesione’s husband. This bold mix of farce and tragedy lampoons British society as it blithely sinks towards disaster.

From Wikipedia: Heartbreak House

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Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye
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Actors Ensemble's production of Heartbreak House, Directed by Robert Estes, featured one of the most outstanding casts we have ever assembled. Each actor was perfect for the role they played.
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Keith Jefferds as Boss Mangan
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The house could arguably be a metaphorical reference to a ship which must be guided capably, not only by its crew, but also its passengers. Each character in the house represents some facet of British society, Mangan being the nouveau riche capitalist, Hesione the flighty Bohemian, Ellie a struggling member of the lower class and so on.

From Wikipedia: Heartbreak House

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Jeff Trescott as Captain Shotover, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Amaka Izuchi as Lady Utterword
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Captain Shotover plays the jester in this play, speaking truth to power. His house is modeled after a ship and the set design of the Actors Ensemble production reflects this. Ever present is the captain's observations and prescriptions, "Navigation. Learn it and live; or leave it and be damned."
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Stanley Spenger as Hector Hushabye, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye
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It is the ship of state that is in jeopardy here, and Shaw makes it clear that the  of the "public" and government are unable to pilot the nation away from the rocks or war.
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Amaka Izuchi as Lady Utterword and Braian Mc Manus as Randall Untterword
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Matthew Surrence as Mazzini Dunn, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye
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Joseph O'Loughlin as The Burglar and Lynn Sotos as Nurse Guinness
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Our production of this play takes on greater significance as America is suffering from the same uneven concentration of money and power that Heartbreak House is portraying. My question is, "Why haven't we learned our lessons from history?"
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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar ... (7+ / 0-)

    The significance of the video is even more important to me as it becomes a metaphor for the pending loss of our theater that the play was produced in. Please see my political diary about our struggle: Will Berkeley City Council Kill Its Community Theatre?

    Thanks

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:40:34 PM PDT

  •  Fascinating (5+ / 0-)

    I applaud people who are active in community theater.
    It's an excellent way to educate and entertain.
    I will never understand why people, more or less, accept the tax increases for sports stadiums, yet are outraged by the idea of supporting the arts.

    As for why we never learn from history?
    I don't know and often wonder about that, too.

    It's a good Monday for us here in Arizona but we really need rain.
    Am watching the developments of Sandy back east and praying.

    Today's dinner is leftover rolled lasagna noodles filled with low-fat cottage cheese and spinach and covered with spiced sliced tomatoes.
    So far so good on The Diet and exercise regiment.

    I hope everyone is having a good Monday.

  •  Our small town (5+ / 0-)

    has both a drive-in theater and a family movie theater downtown that has been in constant operation since it opened in 1928.  They are now only showing some first run films on weekends and running a small cafe in the lobby when not showing movies.  Trying to raise money for some very expensive digital projectors.  

    There is a beautiful historic theater on the campus of the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital.  Memorial Theater is a beautiful place, and Hal Holbrook has been involved in trying to save and restore it. It needs some work, but is still in occasional use.  The photo at the top of this page is of the Memorial Theater, which is said to be haunted.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 01:25:19 PM PDT

  •  Progress (4+ / 0-)

    I have my degree in theater and really miss it. When everything slows down and I have some breathing room I'm going to check out little theater where I live.

    Major progress made today. I had the auctioneer go through the house and he will take absolutely everything. He should be able to get things out of the house early next week. The realtor said he thinks the house will sell fairly quickly. He needs the house empty before he puts it on the market. We may even have everything done by the end of next week. The wonderful part, from then on everything can be done by email so I won't have to drive back up here!

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:07:20 PM PDT

  •  Theater is an important part of community (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage

    Back in the days of La Huelga, the Farm Workers Union used a kind of improv theater called Teatro Campresino to help organize the people and give them a sense of community.

  •  I have been so busy ... (0+ / 0-)

    I only just learned about Blue closing down.  I have to make sure to get the some diaries copied over to Orange.

    Now that we are all on Orange I will make a effort to spend more time on Street Prophets.

    I will miss Blue.  But at least we have Orange.

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 04:31:47 PM PDT

  •  Volunteer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage

    Okay I volunteer Miss Pixie for the official Blue to Orange mascot for Street Prophets.

    Photobucket

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 06:50:39 PM PDT

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