American Home

Critics

LemonMeter

70 %

Reviews: 5

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 9

One out of every 54 homes in America received a foreclosure notice in 2008. Award winning playwright and author of "Love in the Time of Foreclosure," Stephanie Alison Walker, takes audiences on a deeply personal journey through recent history as she shines a light on three out of the millions of stories of loss. A young couple faces eviction from the dream house they stretched to buy; an elderly widow falls prey to a reverse mortgage scheme, and a minister of the prosperity gospel must face the flock shes led astray. Little Candle Productions' world premiere of "American Home" takes an unflinching look at the impossible choices people make when faced with losing everything, and, ultimately, celebrates the powerful resilience of community and the human spirit.

photos by Melissa Blue

 

Reviews

Avatar

This review is late in coming and yet two weeks after seeing Little Candle Productions' world premiere of Stephanie Alison Walker's American Home at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, I am still overwhelmed by the show. It is the collaboration of so many talented people that brought this show to the stage. Walker's script is as charming as it is heartbreaking. As in real life there are moments of humor that punctuate even the darkest times. The people portrayed on stage are people you would know in real life. They are complex. And for a show with such a large cast, that has to move through multiple locations on a relatively small stage, Kate Woodruff's direction guides the actors and audiences seamlessly through the action. Woodruff's set design is simple, yet very effective for helping you understand the world you will be inhabiting for the next couple hours. The actors are all top notch and worthy of mention individually, yet the standouts for me were Ozioma Akagha and Jono Eiland as the young couple coming to grips with the harsh realities that can come from homeownership during an economic downturn. My only criticism is that the play could be a a little shorter with no impact to the emotional arc of the play. There are two more weekends to catch this gem, and I can't encourage you enough to go see it before it closes.

sweet - Jim Felton


Avatar

I loved this play! What happened in 2008 with the housing crisis is something most of us will always remember. There were so many stories of so many people pursuing the American dream of owning a home and finding that dream shattered by a reality they didn't see coming. There is talk that the bubble will burst yet again in the next few years, which makes the play especially timely. I loved how the play followed different people and how they were affected by the crisis--a young couple buying their first home and struggling to keep it after the husband loses his job; an older woman who took out "the wrong kind of loan" and makes a desperate choice in the face of foreclosure; a man who pays a price for believing the televangelist-type preacher who told him God wanted him to have a home that was, in fact, out of his reach. There is such great, raw emotion in this play. And, in the end, it was uplifting, not depressing. The message: We all go on in the face of struggle.

sweet - Kim Hooper


Avatar

Walker has a natural ease with language. Her characters are beautifully drawn. Lovely writing overall.

sweet - Laura Stribling


Avatar

American Home had me laughing and crying and feeling so deeply for these characters. It's a beautiful piece of work that takes you on these devastating journies of loss but leaves you with hope. The actors were phenomenal and their performances really stuck with me. It felt so pure and honest. I definitely recommend seeing this show!

sweet - Natalie Kaliszewski


Deborah Klugman

Although the narrative in American Home holds few surprises (and ties up too tidily), its characters are insightfully drawn, and the dialogue has an authentic ring. Director Kate Woodruff moves the performers about the set in a fluid way, and as the open-hearted and effervescent (until she isn't) Dana, Akagha exudes presence and charm. She's the show's greatest asset, and holds our interest when other elements of the production do not.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

It's interesting, emotional, and filled with love--love from one character to another, and love from author Stephanie Alison Walker for people caught in the housing crisis.

sweet - Alina Mae Wilson - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


Avatar

Walker's characters certainly strike a chord; there is an authenticity to these stories that make the experience a visceral one. The sound design was so precise in placing you exactly in those tumultuous years that I felt my emotions just under the surface.

sweet - Alisa Hayashida - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

I really wanted to like American Home, if only for the light it shines on the millions upon millions of Americans largely forgotten in the cinematic rollercoaster ride that was The Big Short. There's potential for a terrific play on the Fremont Centre Theatre stage, but that's all.

sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Rachel Flanagan - Discover Hollywood

As children, we often fail to appreciate the roof that is over our head and allows for sleepovers with friends or time spent with the family who shares that same roof.  As we grow older, we long for a roof over our heads that is all our own, with no one sending us to our room without television or telling us when we have to be back home.  A house is what helps us feel like we've planted our roots and can grow and flourish but a house does not make a home. As the famous saying goes, home is where the heart is, and for many during the 2008 real estate crisis, their hearts were foreclosed upon. American Home, Stephanie Alison Walker's world premiere play at the Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena, journeys into the impossible choices and resilience that people have when they're about to lose everything and shares their heart wrenching yet touching stories in a fearless theatrical experience.

sweet - Rachel Flanagan - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

Stephanie Alison Walker's "American Home" is a compassionate look inside an event that represents anything but compassion - the housing bubble at the center of the 2008 Great Recession. But rather than point fingers at those responsible, or cast judgement on their victims, "American Home" successfully turns a financial event into an emotional one. By weaving together three stories, the play shows how and why it can be so easy - and so human - to get in over your head when it comes to something that represents love, security, family and a childhood dream come true to some many. The imaginative direction makes great use of a talented cast and strong script. Many kudos to all involved!!

sweet - Sarah Tuft


Avatar

Stephanie Alison Walker's American Home is a very moving new play that weaves together three different stories of people impacted by foreclosure. She portrays not only the personal devastation caused by The Great Recession but also the resilience and hopefulness of her characters. The cast was strong, and the set was evocative. Deftly balancing heartbreak and humor, the play kept the audience engaged. After the performance, I heard an audience member say, "I lived through that." It's a relevant and resonant play that deserves to be seen. I look forward to attending more of Walker's work.

sweet - Carolyn Kras


Avatar

Stephanie Walker's American Home is a powerful and very important play about the 2008 housing crisis. Her wonderfully complex characters are challenged in a way that moves you, and, at times, makes you laugh. Just as important, amid all the harsh reality, Walker leaves us with a message of genuine hope while questions the American dream of being a home owner. Though there are issues with the transitions and some staging, Little Candle's tastefully stripped-down production of American Home showcases a strong ensemble cast, with Ozioma Akagha, Mel Green and Jennifer Adler giving standout performances.

sweet - Jami Brandli


Avatar

Stephanie Walker's play American Home investigates the American Dream of owning our own home, a desire that starts as early as childhood. The play starts just before the housing bubble burst, and the resulting financial debacle. Walker weaves together three stories of people we all could have known (or might have known) -- and she does so skillfully and with a light touch. Despite the "headline news" potential of the play, the play never feels melodramatic, never plucks low-hanging fruit. Better yet, Walker engages us with playful, quick-moving, funny scenes, punctuated by increasingly surreal commentary by financial news talking heads. Little Candle productions does a solidly good job with the script, and the performances are well-developed and moving, across the board. This is evidently a production on a budget, but the team makes the most of their small-budget, with a set that is both stylish and well-designed for the many moving parts. (The sound design, too, helpfully places us in 2008 with a selection of music that evokes both the time period and the heartbreak that goes with it.) While not all of the production is perfect (relatively few lights and a few sluggish cue come to mind), there's a lot of heart in this production, and I recommend it highly.

sweet - Tira Palmquist


Avatar

American Home by Stephanie Allison Walker hits "home" with anyone who has been remotely affected by the mortgage crisis. It resonates with anyone who has balanced family with home, love with money and potential collapse should any of those be pulled away. I've been there. This play pulls at your heartstrings one moment and punches you in the gut the next.

sweet - Gregory Rehner


Deborah Klugman

Although the narrative in American Home holds few surprises (and ties up too tidily), its characters are insightfully drawn, and the dialogue has an authentic ring. Director Kate Woodruff moves the performers about the set in a fluid way, and as the open-hearted and effervescent (until she isn't) Dana, Akagha exudes presence and charm. She's the show's greatest asset, and holds our interest when other elements of the production do not.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

It's interesting, emotional, and filled with love--love from one character to another, and love from author Stephanie Alison Walker for people caught in the housing crisis.

sweet - Alina Mae Wilson - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


Avatar

Walker's characters certainly strike a chord; there is an authenticity to these stories that make the experience a visceral one. The sound design was so precise in placing you exactly in those tumultuous years that I felt my emotions just under the surface.

sweet - Alisa Hayashida - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

I really wanted to like American Home, if only for the light it shines on the millions upon millions of Americans largely forgotten in the cinematic rollercoaster ride that was The Big Short. There's potential for a terrific play on the Fremont Centre Theatre stage, but that's all.

sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Rachel Flanagan - Discover Hollywood

As children, we often fail to appreciate the roof that is over our head and allows for sleepovers with friends or time spent with the family who shares that same roof.  As we grow older, we long for a roof over our heads that is all our own, with no one sending us to our room without television or telling us when we have to be back home.  A house is what helps us feel like we've planted our roots and can grow and flourish but a house does not make a home. As the famous saying goes, home is where the heart is, and for many during the 2008 real estate crisis, their hearts were foreclosed upon. American Home, Stephanie Alison Walker's world premiere play at the Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena, journeys into the impossible choices and resilience that people have when they're about to lose everything and shares their heart wrenching yet touching stories in a fearless theatrical experience.

sweet - Rachel Flanagan - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

This review is late in coming and yet two weeks after seeing Little Candle Productions' world premiere of Stephanie Alison Walker's American Home at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, I am still overwhelmed by the show. It is the collaboration of so many talented people that brought this show to the stage. Walker's script is as charming as it is heartbreaking. As in real life there are moments of humor that punctuate even the darkest times. The people portrayed on stage are people you would know in real life. They are complex. And for a show with such a large cast, that has to move through multiple locations on a relatively small stage, Kate Woodruff's direction guides the actors and audiences seamlessly through the action. Woodruff's set design is simple, yet very effective for helping you understand the world you will be inhabiting for the next couple hours. The actors are all top notch and worthy of mention individually, yet the standouts for me were Ozioma Akagha and Jono Eiland as the young couple coming to grips with the harsh realities that can come from homeownership during an economic downturn. My only criticism is that the play could be a a little shorter with no impact to the emotional arc of the play. There are two more weekends to catch this gem, and I can't encourage you enough to go see it before it closes.

sweet - Jim Felton


Avatar

I loved this play! What happened in 2008 with the housing crisis is something most of us will always remember. There were so many stories of so many people pursuing the American dream of owning a home and finding that dream shattered by a reality they didn't see coming. There is talk that the bubble will burst yet again in the next few years, which makes the play especially timely. I loved how the play followed different people and how they were affected by the crisis--a young couple buying their first home and struggling to keep it after the husband loses his job; an older woman who took out "the wrong kind of loan" and makes a desperate choice in the face of foreclosure; a man who pays a price for believing the televangelist-type preacher who told him God wanted him to have a home that was, in fact, out of his reach. There is such great, raw emotion in this play. And, in the end, it was uplifting, not depressing. The message: We all go on in the face of struggle.

sweet - Kim Hooper


Avatar

Walker has a natural ease with language. Her characters are beautifully drawn. Lovely writing overall.

sweet - Laura Stribling


Avatar

American Home had me laughing and crying and feeling so deeply for these characters. It's a beautiful piece of work that takes you on these devastating journies of loss but leaves you with hope. The actors were phenomenal and their performances really stuck with me. It felt so pure and honest. I definitely recommend seeing this show!

sweet - Natalie Kaliszewski


Avatar

Stephanie Alison Walker's "American Home" is a compassionate look inside an event that represents anything but compassion - the housing bubble at the center of the 2008 Great Recession. But rather than point fingers at those responsible, or cast judgement on their victims, "American Home" successfully turns a financial event into an emotional one. By weaving together three stories, the play shows how and why it can be so easy - and so human - to get in over your head when it comes to something that represents love, security, family and a childhood dream come true to some many. The imaginative direction makes great use of a talented cast and strong script. Many kudos to all involved!!

sweet - Sarah Tuft


Avatar

Stephanie Alison Walker's American Home is a very moving new play that weaves together three different stories of people impacted by foreclosure. She portrays not only the personal devastation caused by The Great Recession but also the resilience and hopefulness of her characters. The cast was strong, and the set was evocative. Deftly balancing heartbreak and humor, the play kept the audience engaged. After the performance, I heard an audience member say, "I lived through that." It's a relevant and resonant play that deserves to be seen. I look forward to attending more of Walker's work.

sweet - Carolyn Kras


Avatar

Stephanie Walker's American Home is a powerful and very important play about the 2008 housing crisis. Her wonderfully complex characters are challenged in a way that moves you, and, at times, makes you laugh. Just as important, amid all the harsh reality, Walker leaves us with a message of genuine hope while questions the American dream of being a home owner. Though there are issues with the transitions and some staging, Little Candle's tastefully stripped-down production of American Home showcases a strong ensemble cast, with Ozioma Akagha, Mel Green and Jennifer Adler giving standout performances.

sweet - Jami Brandli


Avatar

Stephanie Walker's play American Home investigates the American Dream of owning our own home, a desire that starts as early as childhood. The play starts just before the housing bubble burst, and the resulting financial debacle. Walker weaves together three stories of people we all could have known (or might have known) -- and she does so skillfully and with a light touch. Despite the "headline news" potential of the play, the play never feels melodramatic, never plucks low-hanging fruit. Better yet, Walker engages us with playful, quick-moving, funny scenes, punctuated by increasingly surreal commentary by financial news talking heads. Little Candle productions does a solidly good job with the script, and the performances are well-developed and moving, across the board. This is evidently a production on a budget, but the team makes the most of their small-budget, with a set that is both stylish and well-designed for the many moving parts. (The sound design, too, helpfully places us in 2008 with a selection of music that evokes both the time period and the heartbreak that goes with it.) While not all of the production is perfect (relatively few lights and a few sluggish cue come to mind), there's a lot of heart in this production, and I recommend it highly.

sweet - Tira Palmquist


Avatar

American Home by Stephanie Allison Walker hits "home" with anyone who has been remotely affected by the mortgage crisis. It resonates with anyone who has balanced family with home, love with money and potential collapse should any of those be pulled away. I've been there. This play pulls at your heartstrings one moment and punches you in the gut the next.

sweet - Gregory Rehner