MAILED: April 29, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire University Theatre will present "Home," a play by one of Great Britain's best contemporary playwrights David Storey.
Performances of the show will be at 7:30 p.m. May 6-10 and 13-17 and at 1:30 p.m. May 11 in Riverside Theatre in the Fine Arts Center.
The show opens on a bare terrace where two middle-aged gentlemen greet each other courteously. They discuss topics -- the past, school days, climate, the sea, mustaches, the war, families, etc.. The audience will feel that something is not quite normal. With no plot at all in the conventional sense, and with astonishingly sparse, almost skeletal dialogue, the audience has been, by the time the day is over and the shadows fall, moved to compassion, to sympathy and to respect.
This play won the New York Critics award as "Best Play of the Year" and the New York Post called it "a remarkable play and a notable one ... striking and strangely moving and dramatic."
"The overpowering effect is of loneliness, of people on parallel paths which never converge," noted theater historian Oscar Brockett said. "Ultimately 'Home's' power resides in its multiple implications and its deep compassion."
After Storey wrote "The Contractor," an image from the end of that play inspired his next work, which he called "Home."
In "Ritualistic Patterns in the Plays of David Storey" by director Terry Allen, Storey comments, "I was struck by the image of the white table at the end, a white metalwork table which is left of the stage ... perhaps two or three weeks late [I] sat down one morning and thought of the table sitting by itself and thought, 'Well that's the beginning of something' and wrote a description of a metalwork table sitting by itself on a stage with two white chairs, bringing on a chap after a little while -- someone has to appear -- who sits down, followed a moment later by someone else -- he can't sit there alone too long."
Actually, Storey wrote two plays called "Home," both starting from the same image of the white table. He discarded one of the plays for being too obvious and therefore lifeless.
"It seems to me that if, on reading something through, I know completely what it is about, then it is dead," Storey said. "It is when I feel that I don't really know what it is about that it lives -- it lives for me almost in the measure that it escapes and refuses definition."
The other "Home," which Storey wrote in two days, received numerous awards after it was published in 1970.
Tickets for "Home" are $6 for the general public, $4 for senior citizens and children under 18, or $3 with a UW-Eau Claire ID. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 1, 1997