Webster’s Dictionary describes hoarding as:
..the compulsion to continually accumulate a variety of items that are often considered useless or worthless by others accompanied by an inability to discard the items without great distress.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, a person with a hoarding disorder has:
...difficulty discarding items because of strong perceived need to save items and/or distress associated with discarding. The symptoms result in the accumulation of a large number of possessions that congest and clutter living areas of the home or workplace and make them unusable.
APA goes on to say,
Many people with hoarding disorder also experience other mental disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or alcohol use disorder.
Hoarding is not about being a collector or a ‘pack-rat’ or just too lazy to put things away. Like abusing alcohol or compulsive over-eating (or under-eating, or gambling or shopping, … just fill in the blank), hoarding can be an unconscious and ultimately life-threatening way (as with the former) to quiet one’s mind, detach from one’s pain, detach from one’s life altogether.
Viv is the lead character in Lissa Brennan’s stunning new play, Hoard. Claire is the ‘hired help’ who has been employed by Viv’s daughter to clean up her mom’s house. And you guessed it, Viv’s a hoarder.
Starring off the WALL productions’ Executive Artistic Director Virginia Wall Gruenert and Associate Artistic Director Erika Cuenca, local playwright Lissa Brennan has crafted a story written precisely for these two actresses. Brennan says, “…I knew who I was writing for, so I knew not only their strengths but the things that they often got stuck doing because of type casting. I wanted to do something that was going to showcase, not only what everyone knows that they can do, but what I know that they can do, which is maybe a little less on the radar.”
This play is not for the faint of heart; Brennan has done her research. Both Viv and Claire have emotional skeletons in their closets, though some are more visible than others. Viv’s ‘things’ in her house serve to protect her just as the'walls' in Claire's heart. Each woman is wounded, guarding her pain, neither wishing to reveal it until it is unwillingly pried out of her fingers. Brennan skillfully unravels the story of these two strangers with wit, compassion and venom.
Directed by Kira Simring, Artistic Director of nancy manocherian’s the cell theater in New York City with Brian Reager acting as Co-Director and Dramaturg, Hoard is a collaborative project with the New York-based production company. The show will open March 6th at off the WALL productions at Carnegie Stage with a three-week performance cycle, continuing on April 2nd in New York City for another three-week run.
If the table read told me anything (as tears streamed down my face), this is a play not to be missed. Brennan and the entire production team have created the kind of opportunity that every actress dreams of: A meaty role with depth and heart, played against an equally talented actress that you TRUST, coupled with a script and a production team that will support your every creative leap, fall and soar.
Come see them soar.
Hoard opens March 6. Tickets are on sale now.
March 6- March, 2020
Ticket available @ insideoffthewall.com
off the WALL productions
Pittsburgh's alternative theater company
equal, diverse, inclusive