Rutgers Theater Company presents "The House of Influx" March 3-8

What lurks in the deep, sometimes dark rooms of our unconscious minds, and how do we unlock the door? Rutgers Theater Company explores the hidden side in all of us in The House of Influx, running from Tuesday, March 3, through Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater.

“Think of the unconscious mind as the basement,” says Mason Gross faculty member Danielle Liccardo, who directs The House of Influx. She and a group of second-year acting students conceived of the production as part of the movement class that Liccardo teaches.

The vignettes use dreams—mined from the actors’ own dream journals—to “bring to life the things within us all that we don’t necessarily know about ourselves,” Liccardo says. “We’re exploring where our desires and impulses come from.”

Through movement, dance, music, and bold images, the actors have created metaphorical stories about the origins of our thoughts and behaviors—both good and bad.

“Everyone has disturbing parts of themselves,” Liccardo says, adding that our unconscious minds are also home to positive aspects including deep love.

The House of Influxis meant to be a mirror for audiences, Liccardo explains, “to hold up to themselves, take a look, and learn something” about deep-rooted areas of the mind that are normally inaccessible but have a profound effect on our lives.

Expressing those sides of ourselves—even when they are difficult, frightening, or taboo—is at the heart of the theater, says Liccardo.

“I think it’s the artist’s job to illuminate the truth about what humanity is.”

The House of Influx runs from Tuesday, March 3, through Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

Posted February 2015. Photo by Simone Grossman.