Boise’s HomeGrown Theatre, a guerrilla theater group founded in 2011 to produce independent theater in the Treasure Valley, will open its season Sept. 12 with a performance at Woodland Empire Ale Craft, 1114 W. Front St., in Boise.
The group headed by Chad Ethan Shohet and Jaime Nebeker seeks out different locations for each production to create site-specific theater installations. They chose Woodland Empire with its open space and industrial vibe for Japanese-American playwright Naomi Iizuka’s “Polaroid Stories,” a deconstruction of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” set in contemporary urban America. In it street dwellers, the homeless and random travelers take on the guises of Greek gods and goddesses.
Originally, they wanted to produce it under the Connector near the Rhodes Skatepark but couldn't because of the play's adult content, Nebeker says. "We had contacted parks and recreation and although they were interested in the idea, the play would have to be censored; which we are unable to do both from a legal standpoint (royalties) and our own interests in honoring the text and it’s sources," she says.
This is a great second choice. It worked out well because Woodland Empire's owners are seeking to add a cultural element to their operation. The work of artist Grant Olsen will be featured in the brewery for September, with a First Thursday opening.
Kyle Daniel Barrow and Sarah A. Gardner will direct the play that features company actors Nebeker, Shohet, Barrow, Jen Stockwell Doner, Loren Jones, Veronica Von Tobel, Leah Reynolds, Jeremiah Robert Wierenga, Kelly Lynae Robinson, Adrian Leon.
The company also produces “BLiP,” a reading series of locally-written plays at Hyde Park Books, 1507 N. 13th St., Boise on the last Tuesday of each month. On Sept. 30, catch a reading of Michael Baltzell and Michael Hartwell’s “A Fisherman and His Soul,” in advance of its production at Boise Contemporary Theater later this season.
See “Polaroid Stories” at 8 p.m. Sept. 12-13, 18-20, 25-27 at Woodland Empire Ale Craft, 111 W. Front St. Admission is $5 minimum, or $10 and $20 by donation at the door or by clicking here.