I was long overdue for a trip to the Fountain Theatre and Arianne finally made it happen! Let me just say, I am IN LOVE with this space. Although I highly doubt they do rentals, with all the captivating content they are constantly producing, and extending. The venue is cozy AF. I love this little theatre and would love to do a show here. Maybe someday I'll be that lucky : )
On this visit, we watched the world premiere of Runaway Home by Jeremy J. Kamps. By what I've gandered so far, co-artistic director Stephen Sachs really likes world premieres and he really likes adapting content. Not only is that important to the LA theatre community, but the global theatre community; we need to keep creating newness and we need to keep making it our own. And as I'm continuing to draft my own adaptation, I have been inspired by his consistency and ability to honor mounting his own adaptations. I appreciate someone else out there in the field who is doing that successfully and without hesitation. It's not easy!
It took me a moment to warm up to the style of the piece, and to bring myself back to the days of Katrina. If anything, the post show conversation proved that these so-called "days of Katrina" are not over; the New Orleans community is still suffering the repercussions and aftermath of this devastating storm. More so, parts of the community have been lost through the "healing," where rebuilding often leads to an increase in gentrification. Although we can assume this was unplanned when the show was picked for the current season many months back, this play brings many concerns to the surface in light of more recent hurricanes this fall, many of which we are removed from in Los Angeles. Once again, I appreciated seeing a "poor people problems" play, and one very much outside of our own community.
There's a lot going on in this little play in its little home at The Fountain. It's refreshing to watch a story unfold from the point of view of a little girl with a lot to say and a lot she can't find a way to say. And how could you, when your home has been destroyed, your family taken from you in a world that tells you, "you can't"? However, she uses her imagination, the flow of her prose and the people around her to try and find her own healing. The playful tone of both the set and sound design magically compliment Kali's storytelling and rebellious attitude. I'm interested to see how the Fountain's creative team transforms and embodies this space next, especially with Chaim Potok's The Chosen adapted for the stage by the theatrically notable Aaron Posner. If you can squeeze it in over the next two weekends, Runaway Home runs at the Fountain Theatre through November 5. You'll appreciate the history, the relevancy and the honest human need for strength and healing.