Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play

Written by Jaclyn Backhaus 

Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski

February 21st - March 9th, 2013 at Walkerspace

In this reconstruction of the classic American drama, the Lorimer family has gathered to welcome home their former golden boy after tragedy has forced him to retreat to the living room of his youth. A revolving door of newly explored stock characters reveal their inner demons while struggling to achieve the American dream – life, liberty and the pursuit of authenticity. Theater Reconstruction Ensemble's critical dissection of the American "real" attempts to rebuild the most iconic and praised theatrical style of the past century while simultaneously questioning its core components. Can we ever truly capture ordinary reality on the extraordinary stage? Or is it only in the struggle to do so that we stumble across reality's greatest counterpart – truth?

Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play was presented February 21st - March 9th, 2013 at Walkerspace. Created and produced by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Written by Jaclyn Backhaus. Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski. Performed by Harlan AlfordJaclyn BackhausMichael BarringerAndrew ButlerNick FesetteNick LehaneEmily MarroSydney MatthewsAnastasia OlowinPatrick ScoreseTina ShepardNick Smerkanich, and Lauren Swan-Potras. Designed by Jonathan Cottle and Kate Marvin. Photos by Hunter Canning. Video by Michael Barringer.


"Theater Reconstruction Ensemble’s challenging but ultimately rewarding production of Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play does more than deconstruct the style of the great American dramas from the 20th century. [ Backhaus and Kurzynowski ] essentially present a staged rehearsal, which turns out to be an apt forum for meditation on the techniques through which plays spring to life. The production’s organic hunt for an emotional authenticity that it doesn’t always find is exhilarating."

Backstage Response


"The dialogue is so impeccably written in the speech of that era it could have just as easily been taken directly from the pages of a Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller classic. Kurzynowski manages to weave the actors throughout the stage as if the whole piece were a dream ballet. All together Theater Reconstruction Ensemble’s piece is a surprising, fascinating, and engaging work of art that causes us to reflect on post-war America and ask if we’ve really changed that much since."