What Is the Story of House For Sale?
House For Sale, based on the autobiographical essay of the same name by bestselling author Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections, Freedom), describes the experience of trying to sell a family home after the death of the writer's mother. Five unnamed actors of both sexes explore Franzen’s text through repetition, music, movement, costumes, projections and more. House For Sale is an abstract but touching exploration of family memories, love and loss.
[The cast is] given a very personal essay written by one of America’s great living writers who has never publicly expressed any interest in the stage, and they turn it into something unexpected, exciting, and haunting.Review by Jason Diamond from Capital New York
[Daniel] Fish has created a successfully light-hearted tribute that doesn’t distract from Franzen’s thoughtful, eminently relatable reflection on family ties.Review by Jennifer Farrar from Associated Press
What Is House For Sale Like?
Set in a chair-lined space evoking a funeral parlor, House For Sale uses a panel of brightly colored lights (controlled by director Daniel Fish) to determine when each actor speaks. As the actors keep an eye on the flashing lights, they sit, walk, run and roll around the stage, stopping at times to play the organ, sing or change costumes. The delivery of the text is “spontaneous, and varies from night to night,” according to the program.
Is House For Sale Good For Kids?
No. Although there is no nudity and very minimal adult language in House For Sale, the violent and loud death scene from Bonnie and Clyde is projected onto the back wall of the theater. The show is a good choice for teens who are Jonathan Franzen fans, but because there is no intermission, younger children might become bored and disrupt other audience members.