HOUSE #30 is an hour-long solo show written and performed by international performing artist, Mik Kuhlman in collaboration with textile artist, Patricia Toovey. An autobiographical story about a home that was haunted and burned down. It’s about displacement and finding home in the rubble. It’s a love letter to a life that embraces change – full of island lore, ghost stories, physicality, humor and heart.
“Absorbing…Charming and poignant”
-Misha Berson, The Seattle Times
The show opens in the dark with a phone ringing. Lights rise slowly revealing Mik standing in a transparent, white, silk house that hangs from the ceiling.
“Hello, this is Mik.” / “Mik, it’s Janet.” / “Hi, Janet.” / “ You need to be sitting down and you need to take a deep breath.”
I do it. I sit down. I take a deep breath. The world narrows.
“Your house is on fire. There’s a fire truck in front of it.”
My desk suddenly disappears, the walls disappear, people vanish, the phone becomes an isolated object. “What is it today?.” I hear my voice say out loud. I watch as a hand sets the receiver down. It’s my hand. I’m in a room, in an office. Co-workers become visible once again but no longer holding reality. As though they, like me, are disembodied entities floating in the air. This moment searing into time, like the phone’s ring, never to be forgotten.
…and finally, it’s quiet. Except for the silent scream and the word homeless dancing a tango between your ribs…and the world goes blank.
We all have a House #30. It can be failure, illness, death, rape, hurricane, fire. An event that shakes you to your marrow, forcing a reckoning deep within as you choose how to put the pieces back. House #30 is about the mysteries and miracles in life and what’s found under all the rubble.
House #30 has been in development for the last two years with several partners, starting with Vashon Allied Arts’ New Works Festival; then a six month dialogue and idea exchange with visual and textile artist Patricia Toovey; creative consultant support from Meg McHutchison; adding director Jennifer Jasper and musician Gretta Harley; with additional input from Jon Milazzo and Martha Enson through a residency at Hanna Barn Studios. This “birthing” played at the Blue Heron Art Center on Vashon Island, WA in June of 2013.
NYC development partners included Joseph Gallo and Artistic New Directions Go Solo! Festival; Sol Kjøk and NOoSPHERE Arts; and Loft Lounge NYC where alongside musician and songwriter extraordinaire, Lesley Kernochan (www.lesleyk.com) Mik developed and presented sections of the show for intimate private settings, playing five salon style shows including: a mid-town Manhattan theatre, a Lower East Side gallery, a Brooklyn Loft, a Vashon Island campfire and a Portland, Oregon house with assistance from director Nancy Smithner and intern Stephen Thornton. E. James Ford provided website hosting and support.
In June of 2015, AJ Epstein invited HOUSE #30 to a run at West of Lenin in Seattle. House #30 musicians, Gretta and Lesley contributed recorded music and Mik began a fruitful collaboration with NYC sound designer, Michael Keck. Brandon Patrick Hogan further developed and implemented the sound design into the theatre and the successful run was helped through the technical staff of Bob Pore (stage manager), Kyle Spens (technical director), and West of Lenin’s Amanda Rae and Rachel Delmar.
The show is currently being packaged for promotional marketing and the set adapted for shipping. House #30 is available for bookings as of January 2016.