Having Hope At Home

Having Hope at Home

“A very funny and deeply touching play.”
– Robin Pittis – View Magazine, Hamilton

Full length comedy.

A side-splitting look at a family learning to love again.  On a winter night in a drafty farmhouse a baby is about to arrive.  But modern medicine meets midwifery head on in a torrent of family feuding.  As tensions rise between three dysfunctional generations, so does the laughter.  It takes a baby to to heal the rift in this funny, heart-warming story of forgiveness and hope.  Playwright David S. Craig shows us how the human heart sometimes takes the longest way home.

Characters: 3M/3F.

 Synopsis

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ARTIST STATEMENT

Some of us get married, some of us have children but all of us, through no fault of our own, have families.  You either love them, put up with them or move to the coast.  For me, flight is futile.  I carry my family’s voices wherever I go.  Right now, my mother, long in her grave, is on my shoulder telling me not to be “smart”.  Being “smart” was “showing off” which was “boastful” and therefore “rude”. This story illustrates how little effect parents have over children as I became a professional actor and playwright, which is to say, a full time show off.

And yet, in my lifetime, I have seen the ties of family weaken as we, myself included, have gone off to seek our individual goals of glory and personal fulfillment.  I’m not sure we’re better off.  In fact, I’m pretty sure humans are pack animals and our separation from the tribe, despite the potent freedom it provides, is one of the causes of our general anxiety.  The stories that interest me are the ones that show characters creeping from isolation towards the vulnerability of community.  If they succeed it is a comedy – if they fail it is a tragedy, but the longing for ‘home’ is always there.

Having Hope at Home was inspired by another family comedy:  Saturday, Sunday, Monday by the great Italian dramatist Eduardo de Philippo.  I saw Laurence Olivier play the grandfather at the Old Vic. His wife, Joan Plowright, played the lead.  What I admired was how this very specific Italian family become a mirror for my own.  I saw how the comedy was designed, not to distract us from our lives but  bring us closer to our vulnerability and our need to belong.

The family in Having Hope at Home  is not my own, but they are people with whom I deeply identify and with whom I have seen many audiences identify.  I hope it will be so for you.

Jerry Franken, Maev Beaty, Robyn Craig, James Dallas Smith, Michael Hanrahan, and Jane Spidell in Theatre Aquarius’ production of Having Hope at Home

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Blyth Festival, Blyth, Ontario – Premiere – 2003
Lighthouse Festival, Port Dover, Ontario – 2004
1000 Island Playhouse, Gananoque, Ontario – 2004
Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – 2005
Red Barn Theatre, Jackson’s Point, Ontario – 2005
Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay, Ontario – 2006
Western Theatre Canada, Kamloops, British Columbia – 2007
The Gateway Theatre, Richmond, British Columbia – 2007
The Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg,  Manitoba – 2008
Upper Canada Playhouse, Morrisburg, Ontario – 2008
Chemianus Theatre Festival, Chemainus, British Columbia – 2008
Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton, Ontario – 2009
Hudson Village Theatre, Hudson, Quebec – 2009
The Globe Theatre, Regina – 2011
Port Stanley Summer Festival – 2012
Blyth Festival (10th Anniversary Production) – 2012
Victoria Playhouse, Victoria, Prince Edward Island  –  2013
Neptune Theatre, Halifax Nova Scotia – 2014

Jerry Franken in Theatre Aquarius’ production of Having Hope at Home

German Productions
Theater fur Niedersachsen Hildesheim Hannover – 2009
Massbach, Frankisches Theater – 2011
Theater Chambinzky Wurzburg – 2007