SAXTONS RIVER—The story of how a flood affects a family is told through the eyes of three storytellers in the musical Wayward Home, which will be performed at Main Street Arts on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, at 7:30 p.m.
With themes that are described as “mythic, with a lot of magic and hyper-theatricality,” the two-act piece has some 20 original musical numbers, with the performers accompanying themselves on piano, guitar, and banjo and moving from musician to storyteller as they tell their characters’ stories in a folksy style, according to a news release.
The result of an international collaboration between two friends who met in college, the show is a compilation of words and music that tells how the family deals with losing everything
Maizy Scarpa and Clara Strauch, the creators of Wayward Home, met as undergraduates at New York University and began work on the piece via the internet after Strauch returned home to Sweden. They had only one face-to-face working session before the show debuted in Cambridge, Mass., in 2015.
Scarpa says the piece was inspired by both Noah’s Ark and the great Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood of 1889 that killed more than 2,200 and caused extensive damage.
“It’s how the family forms and then faces a huge loss, a disaster,” she said. “They have to figure out how they begin again.”
Set in the mid-19th century, Wayward Home explores how different memories of an event create different realities through the characters of Iris (Scarpa), Anna (Strauch) and Noah, played by Didrik Soderstrom.
“My mom is one of six siblings, and I remember listening to them recall things in six different ways,” explains Scarpa. “Our stake in something affects how we remember it."
Since graduating from NYU with degrees in drama and creative writing, Scarpa has written a number of other plays that have been performed around the Northeast and has directed in Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare and the Dorset Theatre Festival’s Young Playwrights Program. She is co-founder of the theater company, Emergent Ensemble.
As a songwriter, Strauch was nominated for Outstanding Original Music at The New York Innovative Theatre Awards for her score for The Tempest (Smith Street Stage), and received a STIM songwriting prize for her upcoming album, Persephone.
Her solo music has been featured in publications such as AXS, and she has toured internationally. In addition to her acting credits, she has taught and created theater with refugees and teens in Sweden, children in Peru, and inmates at Rikers Island.
Soderstrom, an actor and storyteller based in Brooklyn, is the founder and creative director of The Hnossa Project. Theater credits include Erik & The Wolf (Rochester Fringe Festival), East of The Sun, West of the Moon (Chicago Fringe Festival) All’s Fair/Six Western (Oracle Theatre), Measure for Measure (NYU), The Overcoat (Vassar Powerhouse).