A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
Broke House is a new group performance from Caden Manson / Big Art Group and follows a narrative about the residents of a house and their hanger-on, once a documentary filmmaker arrives to capture their lives. On a skeletal set webbed with video cameras, the characters try to recall their given roles as inevitably the foundations of their dreams collapse, and they are thrown into the desert of their own futures. Part comedy, part ritual, part love spell.
The Performance explores the process of construction, when that process becomes sharply interrupted by historical events, and dissolves into the shapelessness of an aftermath. Those processes that were “building” previous to the play’s beginning include a life, a family, architecture, or a system of beliefs, an economy of values, and the creation of the performance itself. But when events intervene— events like collapse, upheaval, disaster, abandonment, forgetting, fear, and strife— all the raw materials and the players themselves become deformed into a new formlessness, and enter a transitional state of potentiality. Like the pause loop in a video game, Broke House takes place in this marginal time zone.
Like all of Big Art Group’s works, Broke House offers our meditation on the current states of America, which we believe have been in flux for at least as long as our ensemble has been up and running. Beyond the topical symptoms of foreclosure crises, credit crises, occupy movements and extremist rhetoric, we suppose that the metaphorical heart of the country has been suffering, and perhaps has decided to rebuild the body that surrounds it.
Created by Caden Manson, Jemma Nelson, Big Art Group
Direction and Scenography by Caden Manson
Sound by Jemma Nelson
Performed by David Commander, Nicholas Gorham, Heather Litteer, Willie Mullins, Matthew Nasser, Edward Stresen-Reuter, Rebecca Sumner Burgos
Technical Director and Lighting Design by Hillery Makatura
Assistant Director Kathleen Amshoff and Patrick Vassel
Video System Design by Caden Manson and Jared Mezzocchi
Video System Tech Dan Hansell
Sculpture Caden Manson and Jeffrey Ralston
Intern Milo Cramer
Broke House is produced by Big Art Group with support from King’s Fountain and NYSCA