We Live Here, Zoe Kazan
This is the first play of the season we have seen. It is also the first MTC production this year. I was particularly interested in this play as the playwright is Zoe Kazan. This is the second play she wrote and she has also acted in films and theater. Zoe Kazan comes from a family of screenwriters including her grandfather Elia Kazan who is legendary. After seeing her perform over the last few years and watching We Live Here, I guarantee that you will be seeing more from Zoe Kazan.
The play focuses on a family who has swept the loss of one of their children under the carpet. Nothing can stay under the carpet for long. On the eve of wedding of the surviving twin sister, the family comes home to get ready. The younger sister arrives with a new boyfriend who has history with the family creating an even stranger atmosphere.
As the play unfolds Kazan does a great job of cluing us slowly into each character and their connections. There is always that elephant in the room of the sister they lost. The mother is overwhelmingly passive aggressive and the father is dismissive to everything around him. At one point the father begins to explain a book he is writing to the boyfriend and fiancee which is about a Greek tragic hero. That is the pivot in the play where everything begins to fall into place for the audience and the family begins to crumble.
The play is far from upbeat yet I can't get it out of my mind. All families have something in their closet from a selfish parent to a crazy relative to someone with depression. For some people those stories can be swept under the carpet as they move through their lives while for others their sadness or anger seeps to the surface in every aspect of their life. I am not sure who Kazan is writing about but We Live Here is an impressive play about family.