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'House With No Walls' heads to West campus

February 03, 2009

“A House With No Walls” comes to the Second Stage West theater at Arizona State University’s West campus, Feb. 12-21. The drama, a co-production with iTheatre Collaborative, is directed by Charles St. Clair, a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

“A House With No Walls” involves two intertwined stories, both set in Philadelphia. The present-day story focuses on the controversial events surrounding the opening of the American Museum of Liberty. The second, set in the late 18th century just before President George Washington leaves office, is about a slave who decides to escape from her master: President Washington.

“Playwright Thomas Gibbons asks us to consider which elements of our history we will take into our house, and which we will erase – and why,” St. Clair says.

“A House With No Walls” comes to ASU’s West campus after a successful run at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. Critic Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic describes the production as “a perfectly walked tightrope of a play. In re-creating events from the new, it transforms them into poetry. Intellectual but not pedantic, it’s driven by ideas but explores them through richly realized characters.”

The play is the conclusion of Gibbons’ “race trilogy.” The previous two plays, “Bee-luther-hatchee” and “Permanent Collection,” have been performed in the Valley; the current production of “A House With No Walls” marks the play’s regional premiere.

The presentation of “A House With No Walls” is part of the West campus’s celebration of Black History Month during February, in partnership with ASU’s Black Student Union.

Performance dates are Feb. 12-15 and Feb. 19-21. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for all performances except Feb. 15, which is a 3 p.m. matinee.

Tickets are $12 ($7 for students and senior citizens). Second Stage West is on the lower level of the University Center Building at ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Call (602) 543-ARTS (2787) for more information.