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Riverwalk’s ‘The Home Team’ tackles football, fami Topic: Riverwalk’s ‘The Home Team’ tackles football, fami

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Quote Angel92 Replybullet Topic: Riverwalk’s ‘The Home Team’ tackles football, fami
    Posted: 18Oct2017 at 12:27pm
They may not be the typical Lansing family, but playwright Kim Carney is taking a bet you might recognize these die-hard Spartan fans.
Her play, “The Home Team,” is coming to Riverwalk Theatre under the direction of Emily Clark. It features a family of Spartan football fans on the day of the Big Game. You know, that one with the OTHER Michigan school.
And into the mix comes one of the son’s new girlfriend who is (gasp) from Ann Arbor and rooting for her Wolverines.
“It’s a blue-collar family,” said Doak Bloss, the assistant director. “The fact that it is close to the university matters to the plot, but this family is not a typical Lansing family—because they’re pretty messed up.”
There is a mother in her 50s who has four grown children all still living at home. While the first act seems to be all about the game, things soon change with a big reveal at the end of act one.
“Something happens that just turns everything upside down and turns the family into turmoil and the game doesn’t seem to matter anymore—though they still do care who wins the game,” said Bloss.
Shannon Bowen plays the outsider—the girlfriend, Erin. She’s the only one in the cast who is not from Michigan. She grew up in New Mexico where she happened to meet her Williamston-raised husband, Blake Bowen. She said this show has made her acutely aware of a lot of Michiganisms, especially with pronunciations.
She said as a child, she dreamed of going to the University of Michigan because Gilda Radner went there. It wasn’t until she met her husband that she learned there was a difference between U of M and MSU.
“I got read the riot act over that,” she said. “I didn’t know there was a difference.”
While the play features some pretty die-hard Spartan fans, it’s not really a play about football. It’s a play about a family and the people in it breaking free from the ways they’ve defined themselves their whole life and about breaking free from each other.
“It uses football as the launching point,” Bloss said. “We’re talking about Spartan lovers getting ready to enjoy the big game. It’s probably the biggest event in their lives, but there is a revelation at the end of act one which you see slowly emerging that just changes everyone. Football is still going on, but the family has to confront their prejudices and feelings about things they don’t want to think about.”

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