At Home at the Zoo
Exit theatre presents At Home at the Zoo, a play by Edward Albee.
(By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd. On behalf of Dramatists Play Service Inc. New York)
Exit Theatre returns to the stage with their first production since 2008, reuniting to bring their new interpretation of the challenging play by Edward Albee. At Home at the Zoo consists of two one-act plays - The Zoo Story (1958) and Homelife (2007) written by Albee only 6 years ago as a prequel to the original. The play explores themes of isolation, loneliness, miscommunication and social disparity. The action unfolds in front of the audience in real time.
“Homelife”, the first act, is set in the New York apartment of Peter and Ann, circa 1970s. After years of marriage, the middle-aged couple with two daughters, two cats, two parakeets, two TVs and two microwaves, appear to be happily married, in their comfortable lives with no surprises. However, how well do they really know each other? Their conversation reveals that their uneventful life is based on compromise and hidden emotions and desires. We leave the couple with Peter deciding to adjourn to his favourite bench in Central Park in order to read his book.
The second act, “The Zoo Story” opens with Peter's “me time” interrupted by Jerry, who is the embodiment of chaos, disorder and madness. Jerry represents an individual living a social compromise in a commercial world. Jerry begins to lure Peter into the world of his dramatic life, which unwillingly draws Peter away from his book. How long can Peter maintain his polite patience?
The play demonstrates the essential aloneness of all humanity.
This Exit Theatre Production is directed by Kristof Kaczmarek - the founder of Theatre Zart, which was the first immigrant theatre in WA and staged over 20 professional productions both in Australia and in Poland - including at the international Festival in Perth.
The multicultural cast adds diversity and a new dimension to this Edward Albee’s play 'At Home at the Zoo; to be performed at “The Memo” in Healesville with Kristof Kaczmarek as Peter, Josh Blau as Jerry, and Suhasini K Seelin as Ann.
I have been thinking of directing “The Zoo Story” for some years now. Meanwhile Edward Albee wrote another play “Homelife”, which became the first act to “The Zoo Story.” I was, in a way, forced to do both, which turned out to be a memorable experience for me and the cast. The material was vast, the subtexts almost in every line, and to find a link between the two plays proved to be an extremely difficult and rocky road. In the end, however, it gave us great satisfaction and fulfilment. I hope this production will be as thought provoking for every audience member as it was for us. Thank you for coming.