It was the silence that struck me. 'My Sister in This House' is a play that utilizes silence and stillness as a way to communicate so much. In a culture of popular crime, when words are plastered across headlines to fill the silence, Kesselman has this way of revealing her character's raw edges in the time it takes an embroidery needle to slip. When the external is repressed, what happens to the internal? Female power and paranoia are on display, and 'My Sister in this House' has so much to say say about the interaction between class and gender and mental health, and it does it all without making much sound. In my production I intend to use silence as a major tool-- to build tension, to captivate to communicate that what we do not, can not-- or are not permitted to say can often be louder then words.
First Encounter Plan
'Sister My Sister' (1994 Film)
In lieu of a rehearsal, the first time the cast comes together I would like to have viewing of the 1994 film 'Sister My Sister,' adapted by Wendy Kesselman from 'My Sister in this House' for the screen. Following the viewing, I'd lead a discussion on the how sympathetic or not each performer found the women. I'd like to have a registered psychologist along with us to join in the discussion, speaking on the topics of 'folie a deux,' and the possible diagnoses for the various women in the house.
I would of course include popcorn and a themed cocktail of my own creation, called "They Looked Like Such Nice Girls."