Stolen House creates a fully realized play every night. Six of the most accomplished improvisors in the world forge a grounded, moving, funny theatrical piece in front of our eyes. Employing the beautiful stage, sets, and lighting of the Barrow Street and Bernstein theaters, Stolen House looks like a traditional play—the audience would never know this wasn’t a scripted play, if we didn’t tell them.
The challenge facing us as we developed this piece was, “What is a play? What makes something a play? And what is the value of a play?" We didn’t want a piece that merely looked like a play; we wanted a piece that accomplished everything a great play accomplishes, but with the immediacy and danger of improv. Drawing on our brilliant improvisors, with decades of stage performance, as well as Aristotle’s Poetics, where the philosopher addresses these very questions, we believe we have created an original, challenging, and funny theatrical piece that appeals equally to the lover of theater and the lover of comedy. Stolen House is an extraordinary assembly of improvisors, in beautiful theaters, creating a new play every night, and exploring what it means to do theater.
Creator and Director Stephen Ruddy has had the good fortune to work with everyone in this talented cast for many years, all of them being regular performers in his long-running show Gravid Water, which is produced monthly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and Los Angeles. After assembling this collection of improvisors, he pitched the concept of Stolen House to Scott Morfee at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre—one of New York’s leading downtown theaters, with a long history of daring theater, including Chicago’s legendary TJ & Dave—and Scott was enthusiastically on board.
Stolen House is making its New York premiere at the Barrow Street Theatre and the Anne L. Bernstein Theater on May 6-9th, 2016—and will be taking over more theaters in the near future!