Arcata Playhouse Presents ‘A Woman’s Place is in Her Home’

This is a press release from the Arcata Playhouse:

“A Woman’s Place is in Her Home” an exploration of women experiencing the largely unplanned, unpredictable realities of housing insecurity, premiered last spring in Humboldt county to sold out houses and standing ovations. In their desire to bring the performance to a wider audience, community members rallied and donations rolled in to tour the theatrical event to six north coast cities. Producers heeded the call and set to work planning logistics to get the cast and crew of 15 on the road.

The Arcata Playhouse in association with Arcata House Partnership and Food For People began the project with hopes to bring the distinctive challenges of being a houseless women to the broader community. Not knowing how the play would be received, on opening night their expectations were surpassed with pronouncements like this:

“I want to say that my heart soared as I watched the brilliance of the ‘A Woman’s Place is in her Home’. The whole event was touching, from the music, performed by a young local professional, who herself has struggled with housing; to the stories, which were true, real and local – yet held universal value, and true life experience.  It is painful at times to hear the truth, yet it is deeply meaningful, and informs us as policy makers as to how to better help.

This is definitely a work worth investing in.  Already powerful, but one can only see the future potential of the message.

The music was memorable.  The message, unforgettable.

Susan Ornelas

Arcata City Council

 “A Woman’s Place is in Her Home” fuses storytelling, media, dance and music, performed by professionals alongside community members on stage for the first time. Jacqueline Dandeneau directs the play featuring Humboldt’s own Lyndsey Battle, and Dharla Curry, performing original compositions inspired by stories of the unhoused. Over 12 months, the creative team, Jacqueline Dandeneau, Ali Freedlund and Tammy Rae Scott, documented the hardship, beauty, resilience, and resourcefulness of women in various states of homelessness, and witnessed the obstacles they face every day. The script was developed with the ensemble to bring the research to life. Many of this exceptional cast have experienced houselessness at some point in their lives. Together, throughout the production process, they shared life stories, prepared meals, broke down, held each other up and developed an extraordinary bond.

Playhouse Arts has a rich history of producing theatre addressing serious societal issues while bringing joy and connection to the forefront and encouraging empathy for all. “A Woman’s Place is in Her Home” brings perspective to the challenges homeless women encounter and narrows the gap between those with places they can call home and those who do not.

 Whether living rough on the street, traveling, or couch surfing, housing instability takes its toll and comes with long-lasting consequences for individuals, families, and communities.

The producers and their partners are dedicated to giving voice to these stories and strive to enable our community to connect homelessness to actual people, providing fertile ground for communication and understanding.  The play keeps focus on the substance and value of individuals rather than their plight as unfortunate human beings. The performance delivers a possibility of hope rather than a message of despair.

After each show, audience members can participate in a talk- back session with performers, the creative team, and representatives from our partners, Arcata House and Food for People.

Tour Dates:

Arcata Playhouse: Thursday August 30, Friday August 31

Synapsis, Eureka, Saturday September 1, 8pm

Petrolia Community Center: Tuesday September 4, 7pm

Redwood Playhouse, Wednesday September 5, 7pm

Fort Bragg: TBA

Humboldt State University, Kate Buccanan Room, Saturday Sept 8, 7pm.

(www.arcataplayhouse.org)  Advance tickets can be purchased at Wildberries Marketplace, Brown Paper Tickets or reserve seats at 707-822-1575 (no one turned away for lack of funds).

For more information contact Jacqueline Dandeneau at 707.822.1575 / 707.497.4036 or jackied@arcataplayhouse.org

We are richer in our understanding of the unhoused.

 

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