What is “Homeless Garden”: A Groundbreaking Film Project by Avant Bard

Avant Bard, a renowned theatre company, is venturing into new territory with its latest project, ‘Homeless Garden’. This initiative signifies Avant Bard‘s inaugural exploration into the realm of filmmaking, a departure from its customary theatrical productions.

Poster of Homeless Garden
Photo: Dc Theatre Arts

A New Direction

Originally slated for theatrical presentation as part of Avant Bard’s 2023/24 season finale, ‘Homeless Garden’ is a play penned by Matt Minnicino. However, due to unforeseen staffing obstacles, the theatrical staging became unfeasible. Director Kathleen Akerley proposed a solution to these challenges by suggesting the creation of a film adaptation of the play. This innovative proposition received enthusiastic support from Avant Bard’s leadership.

The Story of Homeless Garden

‘Homeless Garden’ offers a reinterpretation of ‘The Cherry Orchard‘, a timeless work by Anton Chekhov. Exploring themes of scarcity mindset, conflicting land-use interests, and the capacity (or incapacity) of leadership to acknowledge its own deficiencies and, if necessary, relinquish control, the play resonates deeply with the post-pandemic and post–We See You White American Theater landscape.

The Filming Process

The filming of ‘Homeless Garden’ is an inclusive process, inviting audiences to observe and participate in the movie’s creation. Spanning four weekends, each session covers specific segments of the play. Attendees are provided with a summary of the play and the context for the scenes being filmed during each session.

A Unique Experience

This project presents a distinctive opportunity for audiences not only to witness the filmmaking process but also to engage in a multifaceted, curated dialogue about the significance of land ownership for individuals and arts organizations in a nation grappling with issues of generational wealth, colonialism, environmental degradation, and constrained financial resources.

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