fbpx Biennale Teatro 2022 | Caden Manson / Big Art Group - Broke House
La Biennale di Venezia

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Caden Manson / Big Art Group - Broke House

Length / Year:75', 2012, European premiere
Created by:Caden Manson, Jemma Nelson, Big Art Group
Direction and scenography:Caden Manson
Assistant director:Riccardo Fazi
Sound:Jemma Nelson
Performers:David Commander, Nicholas Gorham, Heather Litteer, Willie Mullins, Matthew Nasser, Edward Stresen-Reuter
Lighting design:Hillery Makatura, “Family Portrait” 2022, Claudia Doring Baez
Production:Big Art Group
with the support of:King’s Fountain, NYSCA and Abrons Arts Center
Thank you to:Dan Hansell, Ilaria Mancia, Barbara Pilsbury, Frances Nelson James Davison, Ben Pryor, Lester Manson, Diane White, Jay Wegman, Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Program


Broke House is Čechov's Three Sisters, The Maysles' Grey Gardens and Jack Smith spliced together into a speculative, real-time, misremembered visually and technologically stunning performance matrix.

On a skeletal set webbed with video cameras, a family of characters and their hangers-on try to recall their given roles as the foundations of their dreams collapse, expelling them into a desert of their futures. Part comedy, part ritual, part love spell. The performance explores a process of construction sharply interrupted by historical events and dissolved into the shapelessness of an aftermath. The processes that were “building” previous to the play’s beginning include a life, a family, architecture – or a system of beliefs, an economy of values, and the creation of the performance itself. But when events intervene – events like societal incoherence, economic upheaval, climate disaster, abandonment, forgetting, and strife – the raw materials and the players themselves become deformed into a new purposelessness and enter a transitional state of potentiality.

Like the pause loop in a video game, takes place in this marginal time. Like all of Big Art Group’s works, Broke House offers our meditation on the current states of America.

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