A journalist interviews Stevie and Lamont, two homeless guys who turn her assumptions inside out. They may not have a roof over their heads, but they are intelligent, resourceful, kind, introspective and more evolved than many with hearth and steady income. As we might expect, they know where to go for food and a bath (soup kitchens, churches, charities) but they have also reliable friends, support networks and families. They are not insane, bitter, or cognitively challenged. (Though you might need a closer look.) Stevie has suffered some traumatic experiences that clearly burden him, yet he soldiers on, focusing on the positive when he can. Lamont, clearly sharp and responsible, is trying to hide from drug dealers he’s indebted to. These two enjoy each other’s company and conversation, whether playing checkers or debating the essential difference between lasagna and spaghetti. They never ask for indulgence or pity.
Playwright James Prince has created a parable of sorts, that submerges us in the realm of those without visible mooring or means. Lamont and Stevie have managed to navigate circumstances that could easily throw most of us into a tailspin. Without going so far as to suggest they have an advantage, perhaps their predicament has fomented a seachange. Perhaps they’ve acquired a shift in values, the ability to grasp what really matters. They don’t seem to be living hand to mouth or motivated by desperation. Their sense of family and home seems to have more to do with genuine concern and attachment than a geographical location. In A Debt That Led To Home Prince has found the angel in the details. The miraculous in the everyday and seemingly mundane.
A Debt That Led To Home is a quirky, intriguing, deeply touching play about the homeless and struggles for grace we all share. Prince plays Stevie, a gentle, congenial guy who perseveres despite trauma and adversity. A show brimming with authenticity and warmth. Special props to Jim Finger, whose marvelous, vivid, graffiti scrawled set evokes the rough, distorted, chaotic world we humans are flung into.
The Core Theatre features A Debt That Led To Home playing August 18th-September 17th, 2017. 518 West Arapaho Road, Suite 115, Richardson, Texas 75080. 214-930-5338. www.thecoretheatre.org