Be a Part of IN THE BLOOD’S Post-Show Dialogues

After the actors take their curtain call, we encourage you to tour the Imagine No Homelessness art installation in the lobby, pick up a snack at the concession stand, and join us back onstage for a post-show dialogue, held after every performance.

Local thought leaders will join with our actors and audience to explore the play’s themes together, and discuss steps we can take as a community to end homelessness.

Below is the schedule:

04/16/15 – Kristen Fisher, Community Relation Mangers, Your Way Home 
04/17/15 – Wendy Voet, Executive Director, Women’s Way & Pat Augustus Gilbert, Independent Consultant 
04/18/15 – Patrick Druhanm Director of Food Resources & Nutrition, Montgomery Co. Community Action Development Commission (CADCOM)
04/19/15 – Curtis Watkins, Social Services Chief Montgomery County
04/22/15 – Jenny Boyer, Senior Director of Housing and Operations, Laurel House & Elena Baker, CADCOM Housing
04/23/15 – Margarita McKissick, Program Diector, CERT (CADCOM Employment Readingness & Training)  and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh
04/24/15 – Mydera, Spoken Word Artist & Marie Wenzel, Emergency Housing Director, Salvation Army Norristown
04/25/15 – Virginia Kirk, Norristown Housing Resource Center Supervisor & Alternative Response Specialist Carson Valley Children’s Aid
04/26/15 – Sue Shannon, Operations Manager, Hopeworx & Cyril Burke, Director of Micro-Enterprise Resource Center, CADCOM
04/30/15 – Connie Whitson, Executive Director, Montgomery County Office of Child Day Care(Retired) & Viviann Schorle, Community mobilizer for Norristown Area Communities That Care (CTC)
05/02/15 – Donna Windle, CHOC Assistant Director
05/03/15, 2:00PM – Heather Lewis, Director of Resource Development, CADCOM
05/03/15, 7:30PM – Elizabeth Fetter, Director, Critical Time Intervention
05/04/15 – Herbert Morris, Director of Fatherhood Initiatives, CADCOM & Genny O’Donnell, CHOC Director
05/07/15 – Adrienne Aiken, Deputy Director of CADCOM
05/08/15 – Kenneth Haubert, Director of Asset Development, CADCOM
05/09/15, 2:00 PM – Turea Hutson, Community Connections Manager, Montgomery County PA

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Donate Toiletries to Imagine No Homelessness Project

We are currently running a drive to collect toiletries for Norristown Hospitality Center and Laurel House. If you want to get started with your own drive or would simply like to donate some toiletries, we are looking for sealed, unopened items such as:

Laurel House

  • African-American hair care products
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Liquid soap (body wash and hand soap)
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste

Norristown Hospitality Center

  • Travel size soap
  • Travel size shampoo and conditioner
  • Travel size lotion
  • Travel size toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream

Contact Rebecca@TheatreHorizon.org to organize a drive and drop-off. Whether you can make a contribution big or small, your donations will go to people who really need them. Thanks!

A big thanks to organizations who have already donated:
Jackie McAllister and the King of Prussia Ski Club

Imagine No Homelessness in Montgomery County

by Erin Reilly, Artistic Director of Theatre Horizon

One of Theatre Horizon’s goals is to apply the skills of artists to the community’s most pressing problems.

That’s why we decided to tackle the issue of homelessness in Montgomery County alongside our upcoming production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ moving drama, In the Blood.

The resulting project, Imagine No Homelessness, came from a conversation I had with actor Forrest McClendon over a year ago.  Forrest is not only a Tony Award nominated, in-demand actor, he is also an endlessly giving, deeply compassionate human being.  Forrest urged me to not just produce the play, but use the play to advocate for social change around issues of homelessness and poverty.

When David and Linda Glickstein, frequent producers of some of Philadelphia’s most exciting shows, joined the project as Honorary Producers, they had the idea to connect me with Sister Mary Scullion at Project H.O.M.E. Sister Mary is an internationally recognized expert on homelessness.  Sister Mary told me to help people who are homeless “tell their stories.”  Mike Whistler, head of MCCC’s theatre department, volunteered his students to carry out the project, as did a class at nearbyCabrini College The Patricia Kind Family Foundation and the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadephia Foundation wanted to fund this work, and suddenly this ambitious project had legs!

It was the right moment to bring In the Blood to Theatre Horizon’s stage because Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro recently launched a robust effort to end homelessness in Montgomery county through “Your Way Home,” a county program.  We felt Theatre Horizon could shine a bright spotlight on the issue, and humanize the statistics behind poverty and housing insecurity in the county.

THE CAST

We have assembled a cast of consummate professionals, and are excited to welcome Forrest McClendon to the production in the role of Reverend D.  The gifted Cathy Simpson will return to our stage in the role of The Welfare (Theatre Horizon audiences will remember her as the actress who brought the house down every night in Pretty Fire in 2012).  And I’m thrilled to introduce our audience to Akeem Davis, Ashley Everage, Christina May, and Sam Sherburne, who round out this stellar cast.

Suzan-Lori Parks’ script  calls for each actor to play an adult and also one of Hester’s five children.  So this is a fun challenge for the cast and entertaining for the audience, as the dialogue Parks wrote for the children reflects the often hilarious and true insights kids voice about the world.  Audience members will see a family onstage that likely resembles their own — the main difference is that Hester’s family is homeless.

SHELTERS & ADVOCATES GET INVOLVED

Check out our other blog posts to learn how our actors and college students from MCCC and Cabrini are working with men in women in Norristown’s CHOC and Hopeworx to create a HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL art installation in Theatre Horizon’s lobby, open to the public every night of In the Blood.  Three savvy Theatre Horizon staffers – Suzana Berger, Rebecca May Flowers, and Victoria Cano – are helming this work.

When Sister Mary at Project H.O.M.E. advised me to tell the stories of the homeless, she said that in so doing, we would model empathy in our community.

COME SEE, STAY FOR THE DIALOGUE

So that’s what we are doing, by sending our actors to homeless shelters, creating art together, presenting the play, and then holding community dialogues every night after every performance.  I hope audience members leave this show with a renewed commitment to extend kindness to strangers.

Hope to see you at the show!

montco
Photo caption: Alternative spring break students at Montgomery County Community College and Montco Drama Club built this amazing symbolic “home.” It’s all part of ‪#‎ImagineNoHomelessness‬ and ‪#‎InTheBlood‬. Our friends and housing insecure partners from Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center joined the students in the theatre lobby to use this constructed house and found objects to retell the stories of homelessness in Montgomery County.