Skip to main content

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.

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


Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye
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.

Keith Jefferds as Boss Mangan
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


Jeff Trescott as Captain Shotover, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Amaka Izuchi as Lady Utterword
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."

Stanley Spenger as Hector Hushabye, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye
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.

Amaka Izuchi as Lady Utterword and Braian Mc Manus as Randall Untterword

Matthew Surrence as Mazzini Dunn, Taylor Diffenderfer as Ellie Dunn, and Michele Delattre as Hesione Hushabye

Joseph O'Loughlin as The Burglar and Lynn Sotos as Nurse Guinness
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?"
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

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?



    "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:

    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.


    "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:

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


    "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

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site