Not only is Phoenix Theatre bringing five-time Tony® Award-winning musical Fun Home to the stage, the company is inviting local drama students to participate in a special outreach program to enhance their hands-on experience with theatre. It’s part of Phoenix Theatre’s ongoing commitment to educate and inspire budding dramatic artists.
Fun Home is based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. The production tackles family challenges, love and coming of age in the 1970s, 80s and present day. The show introduces us to Alison at three different ages and reveals memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family, her complex relationship with her father, and her own journey of self-discovery. Fun Home is a perfect show to see at Phoenix Theatre because its stage flawlessly lends itself to the intimate nature of the storytelling needed for this show.
Theatre students from the Metropolitan Arts Institute in downtown Phoenix will research Bechdel and her process when developing Fun Home. They will examine different time periods reflected in the piece from a social and economic perspective. The participants will also study the plight of the LGBT+ community, specifically what it was like to be gay during the play’s timeframe as compared to now. Students will get the opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal for Fun Home and create an audience take-away description as well as an analysis of the show. This outreach program allows students to appreciate the value of research to understand the full impact of this show.
“We have not done anything like Fun Home before,” said Phoenix Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Robert Kolby Harper. “The main character uses her art to uncover her past and to pave the way for her future. The show is very honest, the acting style can’t be ‘performing,’ it has to be delicate and understated. It’s a memory play that alternates between several decades to show the main character at several ages and at different pinnacles in her life. The show is unique, riveting and vastly different than your typical musical.”