Home and Stories

March 6th, 2015 | Uncategorized

Last week, four of the actors in Fun Home made a trek to my home town just before rehearsals for the play began. Bizarrely, the house I grew up in is available for rental on a website called HomeAway. So the actors stayed there one night, and the night before, Hol and I stayed there with my brother Christian. I wasn’t sure I’d be up for actually sleeping in the house, but in the end it felt fine. Though very strange. Here we are next day with the actors—Emily Skeggs, Joel Perez, Beth Malone, and Michael Cerveris.


Now I am about to head to Austin to the South By Southwest festival. I’ve never been to it, and am feeling overwhelmed already. I’m on this panel about storytelling with the amazing Maria Hinojosa and the filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing), so if you happen to be at the festival, please come. Though there are so many exciting sounding panels, I don’t know how anyone can commit to just one at a time.

Here are a few out of the many hundreds: The Birth of Korean Cool. Bringing the Flying Car into Reality. Burning Man Meetup. When Kids Design Drones. Robot Petting Zoo. Hacking the Brain. SADvertising: Why Tears are the New Tactic. Why Does the Internet Hate Women? Why Feminism is Winning the Web. And, Screw Fuck No! Say Shit Yeah!

Well, if I make it out of SXSW, then I head to NYC to do this event at the Guggenheim with the creative team of the Fun Home musical, on Sunday March 15.

Okay, that’s about it. Oh. Here I am taking a bath in my childhood bathtub.


29 Responses to “Home and Stories”

  1. Fi says:

    A selfie of toes, girt by bath water. Excellent!
    I spend time, from time to time, in my childhood home too. Oddly arms length in some ways after all these years, but very connected as well. Overall an untroubling mix. Love a paradox.

  2. Sam says:

    I can’t believe that they’re not advertising the connection with you as a selling point.

  3. Rhiannon says:

    I was (very vaguely) involved with the publishing of Fun Home, and didn’t realize that there was a play being made of it. Can’t wait, love your blog, and your feet are awesome.

  4. StephLove says:

    How strange and poignant it must have been to stay in that house.

  5. Kate L says:

    … I’m still in my childhood home! Green flowers on the carpet and everything!!! It’s like the 60’s never went away.

  6. Anonymous says:

    reading and smiling and enjoying you from….Rome!!!! will we keep in touch???


  7. Heike says:

    Nice feet! And your brother looks just like a mixture between you & your drawings of your father.

  8. NLC says:

    OK, so am I the only who can’t look at the bathtub faucet photo without being reminded of the “freakish long ring-finger” discussion from a while back….

  9. Cathy says:

    Trying so very hard to get the G.W. Bush bathtub painting out of my mind.

  10. oh god cathy…sorry about that.

  11. Cathy says:

    Your photo is much better composed and not at all creepy.

  12. Kate L says:

    Since I’ve been back living in the house that I grew up in, I’ve had the strangest feeling that the house is aware of me. And, I keep having a reoccurring dream of finding a secret passage, always in the basement wall, always in the same spot. I’ve never had that dream at any other time in my life, except as a child living in this same house. It did not start again until I moved back. Maybe I’m watching too much Amy Allen on the television machine?

  13. K.B. says:

    did it stop on an even number of drops?

  14. hairball_of_hope says:

    Oh, that must be too disorienting for words. Who says you can’t go home again? Home, but not home. Is the wallpaper the original from your youth? Is any of the furniture original?

    (… goes back to wondering how the owners plan to capitalize on the connection to AB …)

  15. I went with Frida Kahlo and What The Water gave me instead of George Bush.

    Childhood bathtub — and whole house. With the Broadway cast. Event at the Guggenheim. It’s all something to see, from here!


  16. Kate L says:

    I agree with Susan (#15)… the Kahlo painting is the noble ancestor of the bathtub photo. Hmmm… I’ve been debating for a while, now, if I should post a link to The Onion’s* take on George W. Bush’s artistic endeavors. Here IT is, but be warned – it is The Onion talking about George W. Bush, and I have no idea what ads are going to precede the video.

    * – The Onion (TM) – America’s Finest News Source

  17. Dr. Empirical says:

    It’s a Rave!

    On Childhood homes and the visitation thereof, I recently stopped by the house I live in 2nd grade through college and had my picture taken leaning against a tree I’d planted when I was ten. It was about 5 feet tall and as thick as a broomstick then; now it’s higher than the house.

    A current resident confronted me while we were screwing around in his front yard. I introduced myself and said “I planted this tree!”

    He was unimpressed. “You planted it too close to the damn walkway!”

    Yes. Yes I did. I see that now.

  18. Kate L says:

    Oh, Dr. Empirical (#17), I spent yesterday afternoon chopping a limb off a redbud tree that one of my older brothers planted as part of some grade school project back in the 60’s. The limb would have grown into overhead lines in a few years. I used an axe because I don’t have a power saw. I’m still recovering, today.

  19. NLC says:

    What is the correct collective noun[*] for a set of Alisons (Alisonis?):

    [* “Term of Venery” if you want to get all fancy.]

  20. NLC says:

    (The photo above is from the following great article:

  21. shadocat says:

    I was all set to take a road trip to Iowa State to see Alison speak, but then I managed to somehow screw up my ankle and now am seriously limited when it comes to walking. I hope that one of these days she comes back to fly-over country and I can try to see her again.

  22. Kate L says:

    NLC (#19, #20), Those kids gots loads of talent, but its got to be eerie to be surrounded by visions of your former self!!! 🙂 SHADOCAT (#21)! How is your ankle doing? 🙁 Meanwhile, our new department chair at Moo U just approved the purchase of a new petrographic microscope like the one I used at the Oklahoma Geological Survey back in the early 80’s.

  23. Andrew B says:

    NLC, 19, how about a “ring” of Alisons? Seems appropriate for FHTM.

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    How about a pride of Alisons? Not that the gaggle of gals in the photo resemble lions, but the play on the word pride seemed appropriate.

    (… goes back to searching for her copy of “An Exultation of Larks” by James Lipton [yes, the same guy from the Actors Studio] …)

  25. Fi says:

    An amalgam of Alisons…?
    An ensemble of Alisons…?

    (A gesture of group nouns, from Fi)

  26. Joan B says:

    Hi Alison, overdue congratulations on your grant and Broadway show — such great news! Baby Maggie is graduating from college this year & all’s well with us. Very best of luck with your show!

  27. Alex K says:

    ^ @Kate L — My brother is a hoarder; he occupies the house in which I grew up, and I can’t go inside for grief. But it haunts me anyhow, and though the secret passages and the hidden rooms are for me in different places from dream to dream, you and I have this in common: What formed us holds its mysteries still.

    Newly seen —Click Here!

    — I think that the last line of this AB short story is what each of us wishes that our lives could accomplish for our parents.

  28. Kate L says:

    Alex K (#27) Wow. 🙁 For some reason, I’ve been having dreams of the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, recently. It turns out that Kathryn Janeway was (will be) an undergraduate there (I was a master’s student). AND… speaking of Kathryn Janeway

  29. NLC says:

    #28 : r.e. IU : me too