Foreclosure (Occupy the Stage 22, online)

The National Women’s Theater Festival presents Occupy The Stage 22, a livestream festival of new plays mixed in with encore readings of fan favorites from previous years.

Foreclosure, by Jivani Rodriguez, forms part of this year’s festival. It has a fifty-minute running time and is directed by Serena Norr.

Cara is trapped in her dilapidated house by her memories and by the tragedy that has seeped into every crack and step of what was once a happy home. As she seeks to leave and sell the place on, it becomes clear that forces are at work to prevent her from leaving and to keep her locked in her sadness.

The only people we see aside from Cara are her neighbour and the realtor who simply looks to “mark up the sticker price” on sale day. They can be regarded as good and bad friend voices, in a way, and their intervention or interference is bookended by a garden of flowers, the reclaiming of nature.

Other voices are more sinister, or simply well-meaning. A couple of dust bunnies under the bed worry about Cara’s state of mind. An old shirt longs to be worn again (“my arms wrapped around you as we dance”). A hole in the ground hosts something which cannot quite be spoken about. A vampire briskly touts for business and offers gifts for each bloody milestone. A happy bird taunts its flight, a loyal dog accepts food instead of love.

Poster image for Foreclosure

In the house, Cara is constantly overwhelmed by things and situations, treated with layers of humour. She may take control of her doll’s house, substituting it for the loss of her husband and little girl – but eventually catches her own destiny by removing everything holding her back.

Often the stage directions state we see or hear something that isn’t really there; in Rodriguez’s creation, then, it is the unreal that becomes most important, standing in for Cara’s grief and impotence. Foreclosure is full of strong and telling performances that resonate through the theme of loss and regeneration. The ending is left ambiguous, but hopeful.

Foreclosure features Kate Bateman, Michaela Grace, Sarah Kazlow, Harper Lee, Alizzah G Maravillas, Sakura Nakahara, Amy Pan, and Nancy Winokoor.

You can buy tickets for the Occupy the Stage Festival with a range of pricing options here. Each day’s collection of shows remains available for 96 hours after their premiere, and each show gets two streams.