“How would you feel if you came home and there were thirty strangers in your apartment and your roommate was naked in the bathtub doing a performance piece?” says the woman in the bathtub.

“I’d like it fine,” says an audience member. The roommate, who has just arrived, has a studiously nonchalant expression.

The Home Theater Festival, which has been playing in living rooms and bathrooms and neighborhood parks all over San Francisco, ends this Sunday. “Entertaining” is perhaps not the word, but it is a completely unique and unreproducible experience.

A Wednesday night performance that spilled between three different apartments at 24th and Folsom felt like every stereotype that people have nurtured in their hearts about performance art: nudity, tales of childhood trauma, amplified grunting and breathing, and audience participation in the form of jello-eating and childish sing-alongs.

It was also convivial and ended with banana bread and lemonade. The hospitality, plus the well-decorated condition of the  apartments/theaters left one with the overall feeling of having just attended the strangest home showing ever.

Remaining shows:

Sat 5/29, 8pm
“Fox Den”
Laura Arrington
Philip Huang
Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos/Macklin Kowal
Maryam Rostami/Mona G. Hawd
Liz Tenuto
Sun 5/30, Noon
Macklin Kowal
Jorge de Hoyos

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Heather Smith covers a beat that spans health, food, and the environment, as well as shootings, stabbings, various small fires, and shouting matches at public meetings. She is a 2007 Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism and a contributor to the book Infinite City.

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