Opening the House premieres April 2

March 25th, 2004 by Adam

Opening the House, a premier work by Plymouth State University Professor of Education Robert Miller, will be performed April 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 at Plymouth State.

The play, which is sponsored by the student theatre group, The Plymouth Players, is directed by senior theatre major Fran Page of Bradford.

Page says, “I like theatre with an important social message, and Opening the House presents many such issues. It is an endearing and poignant piece of theatre, loaded with delicious hysterical gems. Anyone who has ever been in love will find something to relate to in Dr. Miller’s play.”

The story takes place in March 1994 on Cape Cod. Andrew has gathered a small group of friends to help with the annual task of opening his guest house in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Andrew knows from personal experience that Provincetown is the perfect place to fall in love, and among these friends is handsome and charming Patrick, who Andrew hopes is going to be the great love of his life. The unexpected arrival of Ethan, Andrew’s first lover, causes all Andrew’s plans to derail. With the help of his cynical but very wise friend, Susan, Andrew comes to realize that neither Patrick nor Ethan is quite who he believes them to be, and recognizes both the strengths and limitations of his own way of loving.

Miller says, “Though all the characters in Opening the House are gay or lesbian, the themes and issues are universal—the pain of unrequited love, the role of nurturance in romantic love, and the delicate distinction between nurturance and control.”

In reviewing the play Professor of English Liz Ahl wrote, “With its intergenerational ensemble of characters, its bittersweet homecomings, and its focus on the role and importance of different kinds of loving
relationships, Opening the House reminds us of the deliciously diverse range of meaning inherent in the old phrase, ‘family values.’ Audience members will recognize, in these authentically crafted characters, their own overprotective parent, or sweet but self-involved twenty-something child, or brutally honest and unwaveringly supportive sibling. They will groan with painful familiarity (and laugh out loud as well) at the dysfunctional relationships. The fact that the characters are gay and lesbian is significant because of its fundamental (but never strident) insistence that families come in all shapes and sizes, that home can be both a refuge and a kind of purgatory, and that even a man can mother you to the brink of suffocation. Ultimately, I’m reminded by this play of Robert Frost’s famous observation, ‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.’”

Performances will be held in the auditorium (Room 144) at Boyd Science Center om Highland Street in Plymouth. Performance times are: Friday and Saturday, April 2 and 3 at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday, April 7 – 9 at 8 p.m.

Admission is by donation at the door and funds collected will be donated to the New Hampshire AIDS Foundation.