How can you rebuild on a foundation of lies?

My husband and I went to see a reading of Joanna Rush's play, 'Home Sweet Homeland,' last summer at the Gloucester Stage Company. As soon as the reading started, we lost our place and time in the present and traveled back to that eerily haunting and sorrowful time of 9/11. The dialogue and story is so intense that we immediately became the husband and wife in the play. Sobs rose up from that deep freeze space within us where the memory had been frozen and tucked away so as to get on with life. But we shouldn't ever forget, for our remembering should rally forth the best in us. The reading was cathartic, important, and powerful. Joanna Rush is indeed a captivating and important writer for our times.
--Cynthia Neale, author of The Irish Dresser

Like many in the audience, I was super impressed that you were able to take a very personal experience, and mold it into a drama that resonated on many themes. I have two observations. After the destruction of the towers and the characters returned to their damaged apartments and lives, I was wondering how the structural conflict and tension of the narrative would be sustained after the powerful visceral conveyance of the horror and chaos of the falling towers. I was wondering how the play would pick up the tension and drive towards another climax. The other dramatic climax for me was when the box was opened and the mother spoke from the dead to heal the wounds of the living, to tell them that those left behind were worthy of picking up the pieces, and carrying on. So the dramatic question that I asked myself watching the play might have been, "Will this family be destroyed and crash and burn like the towers too?" The closer the family gets to being destroyed the more I am riveted in my seat. My second observation is that I hope you are not short changing yourself when you expressed that the play needed humor in the form of the standup comic. I found that there were also a great many other funny moments just in the desperation of the characters and their untenable situations. It was Chekovian funny, but really funny nonetheless. The funniest moments come in the saddest moments sometimes. I know that you and Lynne know this in your bones, and just wanted to affirm your instincts.
--Pandora Robertson, Program Analyst, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University



Your comments are welcome. Please

WRITTEN BY JOANNA RUSH

DIRECTED BY LYNNE TAYLOR-CORBETT