The house of yes
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It may make you laugh, cry, or give you funny dreams, but it will give you something.
The Darker Side of Human Nature
I ran across one such play yesterday. The House of Yes, by Wendy MacLeod, tells the story of one Thanksgiving in the lives of the Pascal family, who live in the same neighborhood as the Kennedys and are about as rich. At the beginning of the play, the three siblings and their mother are meeting before dinner. Over the course of the play we learn that Anthony, the youngest, has just dropped out of Princeton; Jackie-O, his sister, just got home from the mental hospital; and their brother Marty is bringing home his fianc? for the first time. We also learn that there are some rather strange things going on between twins Marty and Jackie-O, but to give that away would be to tell what makes the heart of the story. Let's just say that Marty's decision to bring home his fianc?'or even tell his sister that he has one'is perhaps the worst choice of his life; and its fallout is the rest of the play.
The House of Yes allows actors to explore some of the darkest parts of human nature: extreme selfishness, greed, and madness. It is a wonderful read: written in such a way that I always wanted to know what was going to happen next; so I ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting without really meaning to. Drawn as I am to the meatiest characters in each of the plays I read, I was fascinated by Jackie; and by something in the Author's Note at the beginning of the book: "The play is about people that have never been said no to" (5). Is this what happens to people when they feel themselves gods? Perhaps. In the world of this play, definitely.
Read The House of Yes. It may make you laugh, cry, or give you funny dreams, but it will give you something. And even if that something is just a good conversation, or a good think, it will have done its job. I'm really glad to have read it. I hope the same goes for you.
Shawn Palmer, : Shawn Palmer, a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Connecticut College, is an actor, writer, and singer. While at school she was a frequent soloist with the Connecticut College Orchestra and understudied several roles with the Connecticut Lyric Opera. She also studied away at the British American Drama Academy during her junior year. Acting credits include Catherine (Proof) and Lucia (Mad Forest). In college she worked as a writing tutor, and her play Amontillado (based on Edgar Allan Poe's short... (more...)