Get Cultured — September 2, 2016 at 9:59 pm

H.O.M.E: A Meta-Human Look At What It Means To Be Human

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Walking into the performance space for H.O.M.E (Habitat of Meta-Humans Enterprise) was almost like experiencing a preface to the show itself. The lighting was dim and slightly blue, projecting a space-like visual upon the stage. The seats of the audience were placed on an incline, with the stage at the bottom, allowing viewers to look down at the scenery below them. There was a cool breeze blowing throughout the whole area, which may or may not have been intentional, but all the same served to project an air of science fiction and futuristic wonder. I was excited from the moment I sat down.

I had already gained some insight into the plot of the show just by the acronym title, although I was still unsure of exactly what it was about. In the program it describes the play, written by Angelica Rivera and Marvin Z. Phran and directed by Daniel Echevarria, as one which takes place in a “…re-imagined universe where teenagers develop super powers.” These teenagers are sometimes sent (or admit themselves willingly) to a government-run establishment (H.O.M.E) if they have somehow used these powers illegally. So, it’s almost like X-men, but instead of going away to school, the kids are going to a somewhat questionable juvenile detention center.

Without giving too much away, I will say this play was full of surprises. I wasn’t too sure what to expect in terms of the plot line, action, and ultimate outcome, but I was pleasantly taken aback by where this show took me as an audience member. Although the general idea is relatively well-known (thanks to, like I mentioned, comics and movies such as X-men) H.O.M.E has an air of originality about it that I found refreshing. Some sci-fi plays enter a realm of absurdity, losing the audience’s interest and downplaying the actors’ talent; H.O.M.E thankfully did not do this. It remained consistent and somewhat believable throughout its entirety. The characters were real, the emotions were real, and the core issues were real, despite the layer of surrealism draped over them.

The cast worked together seemingly effortlessly, and each actor brought a different aspect of these meta-humans to the forefront. There was a divide between the characters in the play–a divide which became more and more clear as the show went on. In the playbill this division was likened to that of the one currently existing in the United States, regarding the upcoming election. The creators of H.O.M.E stressed the importance of unity in times such as these, and this was successfully conveyed through the play, thanks to a combination of the writing, directing, and acting.

I was drawn to the element of humanity that was emphasized, even though the majority of the characters were somewhat beyond human, what with their respective skills and mental powers. There was still laughing, crying, anger, joking, a little romance, and even dancing. This served to further illustrate the fact that, at the end of the day, no matter where you stand (human or meta-human, man or woman, Democrat or Republican), we all have similar feelings and emotions.

H.O.M.E is playing at the New Ohio Theater located on 154 Christopher Street.
Upcoming show dates: 8/29, 8/30, 8/31, 9/1, 9/2, 9/3
Play’s website: http://homenewplay.com/
Where to buy tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34708
New Ohio Theater website: http://newohiotheatre.org/

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