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Monday, December 4, 2017

In Context: HOME

Physical theater artist Geoff Sobelle returns to BAM Dec 6—10 with HOME, in which he leads an ensemble of dancers and designers in a feat of impossible carpentry: raising a house onstage and making a home within it.

Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

Program Notes



What's Home? (BAM blog)
"When thinking about HOME, I considered how I personally live in my house and the relationship between private and public spheres. The house that you choose to a reflection of you and a creation of you... It is wholly created by you and those that you have chosen to live with."

Geoff Sobelle (
Explore past projects by the dynamic physical theater artist.

 Watch & Listen

Making HOME: An Interview with Geoff and Stefanie Sobelle (YouTube)
Geoff Sobelle and his sister Stefanie, the dramaturg for HOME, discuss the stubborn forces that make a house a home.

HEAR THEIR THERE HERE (St. Ann's Warehouse)
A site-specific sonic art work by Sobelle to be listened to while walking though Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Material Universe (YouTube)
A playful meditation on time, permanence, and possession, created in response to Sobelle's 2014 Next Wave Festival piece The Object Lesson.

Now your turn...

How did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.


  1. Was this a good piece of theater? I've no idea, because the harsh lights directed toward the audience at the beginning were so painful that I couldn't look directly at the stage and had to leave ten minutes in. My wife was able to tough it out, but even though those lights were removed after fifteen or twenty minutes, she still had a headache well after we left the theater.

    Thanks for that, whoever chose the effect -- Christopher Kuhl, the lighting designer, I presume.

  2. Home was an explosion of fun... first it started quietly then morphed into a huge celebration of what it means to live home. thank you for this incredible & exciting play. I LOVED IT!!!!!

  3. I felt this was very luxurious theater... for those whose hearts can afford to be somehow luxuriously calm and protected in these deeply traumatic times. I don't imply that all theater must be political... but I personally am stunned by the complete lack of social consciousness of this production. Just as one example, we have the highest rate of people checking themselves into homeless shelters in Bed Stuy brooklyn! I can firmly say I have no interest in this kind of art, and wish I could have my money back. True Art both cuts, and elevates, as it needs to. This play was, for me, an aesthetic experience that held no pull on the spirit.

  4. This was a beautiful and heart-warming theater event, full of life — literally. There were so many magical moments and the audience participation piece was endlessly surprising. The theater doesn’t always have to make a political statement. Sometimes it can just bring joy.

  5. I loved it! I thought this was a poignant and often fun examination of what home and life there is about...the mundane through to the glorious and even tragic. I haven't seen anything quite like it before and I've been a frequent Next Wave subscriber. There is also a magic to the show that is hard to pull off in this day and age of CGI. The lights mentioned by the first poster are clearly for that effect. But the lights directed towards the audience are not there more than 5 or 10 minutes. I sat in the 5th row and it didn't bother me after a few seconds. And while it doesn't address homelessness I still say it's well worth seeing.

  6. This was a theater piece about whimsy, but also, to me, about how a home is a place where hundreds of lives are all happening at once simultaneously, across time, across space, across the lifespan of a family. This semi immersive experience is what more theater needs to be. The level of skill on that stage with clowning, dancing, miming... there was so much talent and physical energy on the stage and so many different places to look. Above all it was playful, but in the most intensive and skillful and beautiful way. Thank you for making this available to us all. I think it was political, but about the ultimate in politics... that we fret our lives upon life's stage and then are nothing. And for me, a meditation on the truths of middle age.

  7. Empty, meaningless whatever. I can not call it a play. I felt ashamed to be present there. I am deeply surprised and very upset that BAM artistic directors allow this type of event to take place on it's stage.

  8. BAM holds the curtain for 20 minutes for… maybe so that latecomers can make it in before show time? It couldn't be that, though, because they pick a moment in the middle of the first act to… let a whole bunch of latecomers in and disrupt the audience/performer connection they tried hard to establish. This is a common thread in BAM productions in each one of their theaters, and it's just ridiculous. Take a stand, BAM. Latecomers will not be seated until intermission, and if there's no intermission, then they DON'T GET SEATED. Stand in the back. Your fault for missing the start time, even when the start time is regularly held at least 15 minutes for you. Theaters in general have to stop coddling the few audience members who don't respect basic theater tenets such as Starting on Time, and Turning OFF their Phones. Throw people out when they are disruptive. Theaters will get such a huge boon of respect from the majority of theatergoers if they just stick to principles. The HOME program says something like 1 hr 35 min, no intermission. Sunday's performance started late and the show let out 2 hours later. PLEASE respect your paying and courteous audience members and stick to start times, report accurate show lengths, don't let latecomers disrupt the show, don't let your ushers shine their stupid unnecessarily bright lights in our faces.
    Now, about the show. Oh wait, one more reprimand for BAM: PLEASE include some mention somewhere in the program and on the website for the performance if it is going to require audience participation. I hate that, but I hate even more being surprised by it, to the point of spending the last hour of this show squirming in my seat for both the members being picked to participate and trying to duck and hide so as not to be picked myself. A simple mention, which is NOT SPOILERY, that says "Some audience participation involved" would go a LONG way to making the people aware who don't care for that kind of thing.
    OK NOW the show. First, I would say the construction and choreography were astounding. Things that I know looked simple but were difficult to pull off were executed amazingly well. I am therefore a little bit nonplussed by the rest, because it didn't seem like there was any real point. I saw The Object Lesson, and while I was a little less bored by it, there was at least some hint toward a point, a story, a collection of ideas, that I could get behind. This was much more subtle, but subtle to the point of distraction. I guess I'm glad I saw this, to see some feats in the first half that I enjoyed, but ultimately there was a lot of show and not much else to come across. Or if there was, it was all happening while I was trying to avoid getting pulled on stage and I missed it. I will continue to give Mr. Sobelle a shot as I do think he's got enough clout and ideas to make some interesting theater. But I am, so far, coming away with not much more than before I started.

  9. A powerful and poignant evening of theater. Per usual, Geoff’s experiments touch a personal nerve and I found myself having a very human experience. A memorable part of the evening was when the two audiences members were describing their childhood homes and sections of dialogue became miraculously synchronized and I found myself brought to tears as memory and time became one moment. This, of course, was only impactful because of the context that was built before by the extraordinary cast. Thank you to ensemble, technical crew, and creative staff for housing such a memorable work.

  10. Wonderful, brilliant and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of theater. I did not realize Mr. Sobelle had also done the "Object Lesson" until afterwards.

    Once the connection was made, however, I realized how obviously well suited the two connect. It's easy ... all you need is genius ... and Geoff Sobelle certainly has got that.

    In each of his productions, I left the theater profoundly nourished. I'd been somewhere. Didn't know exactly how I gotten there. But I was thoroughly riveted and wished, somehow, I could live inside one of his tiny, bizarre, dreamlike shifting spaces forever. Maybe we all do!

    Kudos to you, Mr. Sobelle. Look forward to your next piece of work with eagerness and curiosity.