Press

The HTF has a strict Attraction Rather Than Promotion rule (thanks, AA!).  That means we don't write press releases; they're a waste of time.  Even so, the press loves us.  Here are examples of the press giving us love.  


We're big fans of the Home Theater Festival and the back-to-the-basics performance model it so ably demonstrates. But where the festival ends, at the threshold of one's own doorstep, the notion that there could be a whole DIY living room tour circuit is gaining ground. Two recent exemplars of this lo-key, high-mileage approach are Sebastopol's the Independent Eye, which just returned home from a month-long, cross-country sojourn during which it performed 17 shows — nine in living rooms — and San Francisco's Right Brain Performancelab expanded its private-home Due West salon into a roving three-weekend run of its 10-year anniversary performance, What Stays?, from Half Moon Bay to Oakland. (SF Bay Guardian 12/17/13)

*****

In 2010, Bay Area performance artist and provocateur Philip Huang bucked the notion of institutionalized artistic legitimacy and challenged his friends to stage performances in their own homes. "We can legitimize ourselves," his manifesto promised, calling the welfare state of professional arts organizations a "crock of shit." One year later, the all-volunteer, thoroughly-DIY Home Theater Festival spanned the globe, with scheduled performances on four continents. The premise is simple: without paying hundreds of dollars to a venue for overhead expenses, artists can charge $8 at the door and still walk away with some profit, while audiences get to experience an intimately staged performance without an institutional filter. Whether home theater can or should replace all professional art space is up for debate, but it's nice to be reminded that ultimately the art, not the venue, matters most. 

(SF Bay Guardian 7/26/2011)



*****

The idea started as a call to action in San Fransisco: Stop fronting the money for a traditional theater space and instead use your house, open it to the public and have the performance art equivalent to a garage band gig. It was wildly successful. Roadside theaters sprung up around the city and the same way that pedestrians would stop for a yard sale, they halted, turned and watched art. This idea grew and morphed into the International Home Theater Festival; now there are 72 performances scheduled in 12 cities and five countries. 


Local musician/performer/organizer Lily Taylor is giving Texas a pin on the global IHTF map by hosting this evening's Denton installation. Running from 9 (sharp) until 11 p.m., the LT Box Theater (also known as the Jackrabbit, also known as a house on Moncayo Drive) is not only opening its garage, but also its interior doors for a highly interactive experience that moves from room to room. Local composer Martin Back is leading a music-making session; it's meant to by hyper-inclusive, so don't sweat it if you lack instument know-how -- just hop in there. Also on the bill are "parlor performances" by Johnathan Jackson and Andrew Miller, Lily Taylor and Darcy Neal, Martin Back, and the group How I Quit Crack, as well as a video installation by Sean Miller.


(Dallas Observer, 4/27/2012)



*****


“Make sure to get a spot towards the back of the room,” I told Sam Love as we made our way to Dana Street Theater on Berkeley. “Philip's shows often involve things and sometimes liquids flying.” And I was right. There was some definite yam peeling, neti-pot-pouring, and chair-flying moments sprinkled throughout the show. Did I mention that we were in Philip's bedroom?
“That's the whole point, honey!” Philip told me.

Now in its third year, the Home Theater Festival concept has taken off as an alternative for performers who can't afford a professional venue, and is happening all over the world.  

(SF Bay Guardian, 3/30/2012)



*****

Probably the best example of space self-sufficiency is the current upswing in salon-style performances. From participatory readings to full-blown plays performed for invited attendees, the trend has become so pervasive that Berkeley-based performance artist Philip Huang even coined a name for it: Home Theater, naturally. In May 2010, Huang launched the “Home Theater Festival”, with events on both sides of the bridge. This year, beginning March 3, the festival will include performances from all around the world, staged in the homes of the artists performing in it.

One participant in last year’s festival, performance-poet Baruch Porras-Hernandez, had such a positive experience he’s signed up for another slot this year on March 18, even though he doesn’t think he’ll be able to use the space he currently lives in on the grounds that it is too small. “It is one of the things I am most proud of, out of all my 2010 projects,” he tells me via email, "[I] have not seen so much joy in an audience.”  

(SF Bay Guardian, 2/9/2011)
*****

"I've never been anywhere where there's such an attentive audience as there is in North Texas," says Lily Taylor, the hostess behind Sunday's Home Theater Festival, an event that invites strangers to meet up at vaguely alluded-to addresses and pal around. You know, in the name of art.
"People are really willing to give things a shot, and I appreciate that."
Taylor speaks from experience. She and her husband had just relocated from San Fransico when they offered HTF in 2012. While they'd done it once before out of their old California home, they were unclear how it would go over in Denton. It's sorta like attempting to organize a house party and opening it up to Craigslist. "Nobody knew what to expect," recalls Taylor. "A small, but random, group of people came and they were all really enthusiastic."

(Dallas Observer, 4/25/2013)



*****


"The Chicago Home Theater Festival evolved from the International Home Theater Festival, which launched in the Bay Area four years ago and currently spans numerous countries and continents," said co-organizer Irina Zadov, who participated in Berkeley, Calif. before moving to Chicago last fall.
Zadov—who works with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum—teamed with dancer and performance artist Blake Russell and together they reached out to friends, colleagues and the Chicago Artists Resource to select neighborhoods, hosts and performers. "Co-organizing the festival has been a performance of its own, as we curate shows, venues, and neighborhoods with an intention of creating intimate, site-specific art that builds social capital," Zadov said.

(Redeye Chicago, 4/30/2013)


*****

A lovely interview on Chicago HTF on Chicago Public Radio!


*****

"The Chicago Home Theater Festival, now in its second year, creates participatory performance events in private homes with the goal of crossing borders, creating opportunities for artists to get paid work outside of institutions, and engendering dialogue around issues of community, identity, and the segregated nature of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Co-producer Irina Zadov explains, 'We’ve been organizing [the festival] with a real focus on moving audiences to address some of the issues of segregation and the ways in which the arts like so many other things tend to perpetuate these inequalities.'"

(Howlround, 6/24/2014)

*****

"Whenever people ask me how they can get involved in theater, or get their work produced the first thing I suggest to do a Home Theater Festival show. It's one of the most empowering experiences you can have as a theater artist: because there are no producers, no artistic directors watching your every choice, you can take risks and just have fun with the work."

(Interview with Adam Sussman, 10/3/2014)