The Assembly revives its dramatic exploration of militant radical left-wing '60s organization the Weather Underground. More…
Disgusted by the Vietnam War and the government's repression of those seeking equality domestically, a handful of leaders from the '60s student movement seized control of Students for a Democratic Society and reshaped it in the name of overthrowing the United States government. Believing violence to be the only means to transform American politics and society, these passionate idealists accelerated a movement to a revolutionary fervor, but left a country behind. The Assembly revives its 2011 production with the same cast.
"An ardent exploration of the inside workings and motivations of the revolutionary Weather Underground...The Assembly makes us see, feel, and understand how the youth of America was swept away by the rising tide of collective action and commitment to change…A superb cast delivers the impassioned rhetoric and distinctive characterizations of the figures with full-out fervor and specificity…You will be enlightened, entertained, and maybe even motivated by this stellar work.” Full Review
"The Assembly presents a difficult tale with ease, engaging and personally involving the audience...'Home/Sick' can be heavy, but importantly never presents an unbearable load. It is not without humor, irony, and self-awareness...Refreshing to see. Important but neither didactic nor polemic, it is first and foremost a well-made piece of art that allows every viewer to have their own experience of and reaction to a valuable presentation of our flaws, as people and as a society." Full Review
"Enthralling ensemble show...The show is worthy of its lofty accolades, but its electric charge doesn't stem from its accurate accounting of history...Rather, the six-piece character study brings the inner workings of the extremist group home to the audience...Though the Assembly clearly came to admire the group as they researched, they push beyond simply valorizing them, and seem content, mostly, to explore inwards, considering what drives a person to extreme, violent action." Full Review
"A dynamic and thorough piece of devised theater...For the most part, everyone in the ensemble manages to stay grounded, despite the heady content of their heedless ideologies...'Home/Sick’s' only shortcoming mirrors the very flaws of the Weather Underground: its ideology became too big, too idealistic, and too unwieldy...Overall, 'Home/Sick' is a thought-provoking and timely look back at a moment of controversial revolution." Full Review
“Far from dry or didactic, there’s humor, charm, brittleness, and heartache throughout. Director Chayes keeps an intensely human focus...The talented ensemble enhance this staged intimacy with their complex characters and deeply felt performances...As the group begins to splinter, the visual language of the show becomes more symbolic and less literal...That creates some beautiful tableaux but with a run time of two and a half hours it’s here things begin to drag a little." Full Review
"The entire cast was a unit, not one weak link. Their passion was so clear and appreciated by the audience...The story told was very interesting and dynamic, it had many great ideas! But in that, there were at times too many ideas. The play was very focused on the timeline of events, so the development of the characters suffered...The show is very long and there are places that could be buttoned-up a bit...'Home/Sick' is highly recommended even in its flaws, it is too relatable not to see." Full Review
for a previous production “The Assembly, who assembled the script as a collective, quite effectively and seamlessly at that, do not really try to answer the play's central question, maybe that generation's central question, which is of course, what gives them the right to tell anyone else how to live?...This was a wonderful play, beautifully executed by everyone involved…Frankly if these talented kids do a play about anything, we should all go.” Full Review
for a previous production "The Assembly has created a remarkable theatre piece that humanizes the Weather Underground and makes vivid the turmoil of those days...As a person who lived through all of those days, this extraordinary ensemble of actors, who have no personal memory of those times, get it right...I highly recommend this most unusual of shows. It will annoy you and reward you, make you think and remember, especially if you lived through those times." Full Review
for a previous production "Jess Chayes’s direction is daring and engrossing...The talented ensemble delivers their performances with such empathy and honesty it is hard not to feel moments of compassion...The Assembly does an impeccable job of presenting a fair, honest, and unapologetic look at who these people really were. I never once felt like I was watching a political play, but rather an honest depiction of real lives asking big questions about the nature of humanity." Full Review
for a previous production "Jess Chayes’s intense and thoughtful direction guides the audience through two decades of the group’s history…The performances — especially Edward Bauer as a conflicted bomb maker and Ben Beckley as a narcissistic socialist — are sharp and committed. The play’s only major missteps occur when the actors break character and deliver monologues about their own experiences with social injustice...'Home/sick’ won’t leave you laughing, but it certainly will leave you thinking." Full Review
for a previous production "Fortunately, this familiar story is packed into such an intelligent and dynamic package that it's worth a trip to the Collapsable Hole for a lesson in the vagaries of making history...The first-rate performers have their best moments when their characters' loyalties are tested...The ensemble's connection with one another is the truest homage they could offer to the memory of the collective they have clearly, though reservedly, come to admire." Full Review
for a previous production “However timely the message, most of the play is spent with the cast loudly yelling their lines as a way of communicating their anger and frustration with the system. This tactic becomes a bit trying and repetitive, a challenge to your ability to take in how important a lesson can be learned as the play progresses and the group's tactics become more of a challenge to comprehend...All that aside, The Assembly is a cutting-edge young theater collective composed of talented actors." Full Review
for a previous production "The Assembly has commendably researched thoroughly, and while there is an occasional factual inaccuracy, some missteps could plausibly be regarded as part of the characterizations...'Home/Sick' does run on too long, as the trajectory ineluctably parallels those of addiction stories, in that as motivations collapse, the dramatic arc bends towards stasis. Nevertheless, the extended intermission definitely leavens the downward spiral to disintegration and disillusion." Full Review
for a previous production "Impressively researched and clear-eyed, ‘home/sick’ shows us the Underground's internal contradictions…The borders between watcher and actor also vanish in the haze; this frequently punishing production works best when we are experiencing a kind of theatrical Stockholm syndrome…Director Jess Chayes & Co. operate in an interestingly dangerous zone—the triangle between immersive realism, intentional awkwardness and, unfortunately, unintentional clumsiness." Full Review
for a previous production “The play is over two hours long and could probably have made its point had it run for 70 minutes without an intermission. Even though it is obvious that the actors put their heart, soul, talents, and energies into their roles, it is also true that none of the characters are especially likable. Therefore, it may prove difficult to care about the six characters and what happens to them…While interesting, this play has the earmarks of group writing – which in fact is the case.” Full Review
See it if you care about artivism and appreciate the provocative writing, great ensemble acting, unusual staging, and political content.
Don't see it if you have no patience for long works and devised theatre and no interest in the misguided revolutionaries.
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