FIRE IN A DARK HOUSE

Critics

LemonMeter

90 %

Reviews: 5

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 8

The Whitefire Theatre and Slowly I Turned Productions present a world premiere drama FIRE IN A DARK HOUSE, about two star-crossed young lovers, their families and community, all thrown into turmoil as anti-immigrant fervor against German-Americans sweeps the nation and their Midwest town during World War I. The play, created by Mona Z. Smith and Traci Mariano, runs Thursdays at 8:00 pm, September 13 – November 15, at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. FIRE IN A DARK HOUSE is a poignant wartime romance about a passionate young woman who falls for the son of a powerful newspaper publisher who is waging a dangerous propaganda campaign against immigrant families, including her own. Drawing inspiration from historical events, the play explores themes that resonate strongly today and asks us to consider what it means to be an American, an immigrant, a young Dreamer, and a patriot. The cast features the talents of Tallula Henderson, Andrew J. Langton, Margy Love, Augusta Mariano, Paul McCrillis, Sanford Reed, and Aaron Stevenson. The design and production team includes Kaitlin Chang (Set Design), Cathy Small (Costume Design), Jeff Scott (Composer), Jeremy Robinson (Sound Design), and Katelyn Rydzewski (Stage Manager). Appropriate for ages 13+ Warnings: Mild swearing, some adult themes Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission About Show Times and Tickets: September 13 - November 15, Thursday evenings at 8:00 pm. Show opens Thursday, September 13 at 8:00 pm with talk-back and reception to follow. Tickets: $35. Seniors/Students/Military with ID: $25. For tickets and information: fireinadarkhouse.bpt.me or 800-838-3006. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks 91423 (at Sunnyslope). AC/Heat. Wheelchair Accessible.

Reviews

Avatar
"...looking at the show from a larger picture, I think Smith and Mariano's decision to debut it during this political arena was smart. It may have had some flaws but the message intended for the audience was clearly envisioned. The America we live in is a tumultuous country, and it's important for us to understand history should never repeat itself... This timely piece brings to light what it means to be an immigrant and an American, two hotly debated words within the White House. It shouldn't matter where someone is from or the color of his or her skin because immigrants built America into the beautiful melting pot it is today."

sweet - Ilana Lifshitz - Broadway World LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"Writers Traci Mariano and Mona Z. Smith do a fantastic job in conveying the ugliness and reality of how war affects people and what people will do to stand up against the enemy."

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar
"For a stay-at-home mother of three children, I often find myself reading or watching "uplifting" stories that have happy endings. In truth, these stories don't always give me an opportunity to use my "real person" brain and instead give me an excuse to escape to a fairyland. This play opened my eyes to recognize that issues we face today are not new, but just history repeating itself over and over- just another setting in the history of America. The play was creatively staged, had a small cast who each evoked emotion from the audience, especially the characters of Rose, Mary and Willie. There was not a single moment of boredom or misunderstanding- the script was seamless. It is the perfect show for high schoolers to be required to see for US or European History classes to invoke discussion and action and for the rest of America to study so that we can transform our own destructive human behaviors and make a difference in our childrens' and their friends' lives in the real world and not a fairyland."

sweet - Miki C.


Avatar
"I saw Fire in a Dark House a couple of weeks ago and am still thinking about it. I loved the story and I was especially struck by how relevant it is for today even thought it takes place in another era. The staging was very cleaver and the acting was terrific. I hope more people get the opportunity to see this wonderful play. Exceptional!"

sweet - Elizabeth Woznica


Avatar
"This compelling play emerges at a time in our history when we are given another chance to choose differently, to choose wisely and humanely, to rewrite our future; turning from tribalism to inclusion, honoring the courageous spirit of those who came here full of hope and determination, following their vision for a better life. Hats off to the actors who depicted their characters with such passion and authenticity. Fire in a Dark House is poignant reminder of the fragility of freedom for all and the vigilance required to maintain a humane society. Bravo."

sweet - Salley Stewart


Avatar
"I came with no expectations and little knowledge of the story other than that it took place in 1918 during WW1. What I experienced was a complete immersion into the life of an immigrant family, women's rights (or lack their of) and the sacrifices of freedom for freedom. I actually felt like I was part of the play at one point during the Rally scene when several of the actors were actually in the audience. Amazing performances by the entire cast, without any break in character, which kept me in the moment. The portrayal of Rose by Augusta Mariano brought me to tears and I have a new found empathy for what life was like then. A powerful story that peaked my interest in learning more about that time in our history."

sweet - lisa henriksen


Avatar
"I saw Fire In A Dark House last night and have not stopped thinking about it since. One of the most thought-provoking plays I have seen, in many ways and on many levels. The cast was fabulous; each and every member! The script was excellent. I highly recommend seeing this production."

sweet - Leslie Talley


Avatar
"This impeccably written and performed play really packs a punch. Illuminating, thought-provoking, and timely, this is a story that will stay with you long after the final scene."

sweet - Meg Akabas


Avatar
"A beautifully written play about a painful time in our history. Although it takes place in 1918, it resonates with what is happening in our world today. This is a powerful play. Highly recommended."

sweet - Amy Winston


Avatar
"What an amazing and powerful story. It was so interesting seeing such a unique WWI story from the viewpoint of an American farm town. It was so different and intriguing, that it pulled me in, from the very start. The conflict was throughout and characters so well-written, that there was never a dull moment. Plus, it was so timely with so many emotions; I wanted to see more! The writing was flawless, the directing so creative, the cast impeccable. What's not to love!"

sweet - Denise Cruz-Castino


Avatar
"This is a story that flows from sweetness to darkness in the blink of an eye. The characters are bold and the performances are really beautiful. The staging is simple but excellent and there are strong threads of lyrical and magical realism, which I loved, used to brilliant effect. It's a story not often told about a time when the world still felt young and full of hope before a war threw us all into a turmoil that remains to this day."

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar
"Poignant and timely, Fire in a Dark House considers what freedom, justice, loyalty and love really mean when confronted with propaganda, falsehoods and nationalism."

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Fire in a Dark House is a well-crafted play that could attain theatrical importance with stronger, deeper and more incisive execution."

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"...looking at the show from a larger picture, I think Smith and Mariano's decision to debut it during this political arena was smart. It may have had some flaws but the message intended for the audience was clearly envisioned. The America we live in is a tumultuous country, and it's important for us to understand history should never repeat itself... This timely piece brings to light what it means to be an immigrant and an American, two hotly debated words within the White House. It shouldn't matter where someone is from or the color of his or her skin because immigrants built America into the beautiful melting pot it is today."

sweet - Ilana Lifshitz - Broadway World LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"Writers Traci Mariano and Mona Z. Smith do a fantastic job in conveying the ugliness and reality of how war affects people and what people will do to stand up against the enemy."

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar
"This is a story that flows from sweetness to darkness in the blink of an eye. The characters are bold and the performances are really beautiful. The staging is simple but excellent and there are strong threads of lyrical and magical realism, which I loved, used to brilliant effect. It's a story not often told about a time when the world still felt young and full of hope before a war threw us all into a turmoil that remains to this day."

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar
"Poignant and timely, Fire in a Dark House considers what freedom, justice, loyalty and love really mean when confronted with propaganda, falsehoods and nationalism."

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Fire in a Dark House is a well-crafted play that could attain theatrical importance with stronger, deeper and more incisive execution."

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar
"For a stay-at-home mother of three children, I often find myself reading or watching "uplifting" stories that have happy endings. In truth, these stories don't always give me an opportunity to use my "real person" brain and instead give me an excuse to escape to a fairyland. This play opened my eyes to recognize that issues we face today are not new, but just history repeating itself over and over- just another setting in the history of America. The play was creatively staged, had a small cast who each evoked emotion from the audience, especially the characters of Rose, Mary and Willie. There was not a single moment of boredom or misunderstanding- the script was seamless. It is the perfect show for high schoolers to be required to see for US or European History classes to invoke discussion and action and for the rest of America to study so that we can transform our own destructive human behaviors and make a difference in our childrens' and their friends' lives in the real world and not a fairyland."

sweet - Miki C.


Avatar
"I saw Fire in a Dark House a couple of weeks ago and am still thinking about it. I loved the story and I was especially struck by how relevant it is for today even thought it takes place in another era. The staging was very cleaver and the acting was terrific. I hope more people get the opportunity to see this wonderful play. Exceptional!"

sweet - Elizabeth Woznica


Avatar
"This compelling play emerges at a time in our history when we are given another chance to choose differently, to choose wisely and humanely, to rewrite our future; turning from tribalism to inclusion, honoring the courageous spirit of those who came here full of hope and determination, following their vision for a better life. Hats off to the actors who depicted their characters with such passion and authenticity. Fire in a Dark House is poignant reminder of the fragility of freedom for all and the vigilance required to maintain a humane society. Bravo."

sweet - Salley Stewart


Avatar
"I came with no expectations and little knowledge of the story other than that it took place in 1918 during WW1. What I experienced was a complete immersion into the life of an immigrant family, women's rights (or lack their of) and the sacrifices of freedom for freedom. I actually felt like I was part of the play at one point during the Rally scene when several of the actors were actually in the audience. Amazing performances by the entire cast, without any break in character, which kept me in the moment. The portrayal of Rose by Augusta Mariano brought me to tears and I have a new found empathy for what life was like then. A powerful story that peaked my interest in learning more about that time in our history."

sweet - lisa henriksen


Avatar
"I saw Fire In A Dark House last night and have not stopped thinking about it since. One of the most thought-provoking plays I have seen, in many ways and on many levels. The cast was fabulous; each and every member! The script was excellent. I highly recommend seeing this production."

sweet - Leslie Talley


Avatar
"This impeccably written and performed play really packs a punch. Illuminating, thought-provoking, and timely, this is a story that will stay with you long after the final scene."

sweet - Meg Akabas


Avatar
"A beautifully written play about a painful time in our history. Although it takes place in 1918, it resonates with what is happening in our world today. This is a powerful play. Highly recommended."

sweet - Amy Winston


Avatar
"What an amazing and powerful story. It was so interesting seeing such a unique WWI story from the viewpoint of an American farm town. It was so different and intriguing, that it pulled me in, from the very start. The conflict was throughout and characters so well-written, that there was never a dull moment. Plus, it was so timely with so many emotions; I wanted to see more! The writing was flawless, the directing so creative, the cast impeccable. What's not to love!"

sweet - Denise Cruz-Castino