The Humans

The Humans: To Do

Posted on: October 22nd, 2015 by Olivia O'Connor


Loved The Humans by Stephen Karam? Dive into the show's history, neighborhood and Thanksgiving menu with our list of things to do and make.


The Tenement Museum
Lower East Side

Located at 97 Orchard Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum is an actual tenement building (built in 1863) whose apartments have been preserved in their 19th and 20th century states. Visitors to the museum can take guided tours of the apartments, “meet the residents” to hear first-person accounts of tenement/immigrant life, and take a walking tour of the neighborhood to explore local landmarks and history. The museum offers insight into the identity of the Blake family, whose Irish-American ancestors – including Momo herself – worked their way up from tenement life to stability in the suburbs. The museum also connects its history lessons to the contemporary world, with programs exploring the social, economic, and political positions of immigrants in today’s America.

Walking Tours
Museum of Chinese in America

Get to know Brigid and Rich’s new neighborhood in one of four walking tours offered by the Museum of Chinese in America. Offered walks (all begin on Saturdays at 1pm) run 1.5 hours and include Chinatown: A Walk Through History, From Coffeehouses to Banquet Halls, Beyond the Frozen Zone: Portraits of Post 9/11 Chinatown, and Chinatown Architecture: Urban Transformations. And for a more culinary-minded take on the neighborhood, check out Foods of New York’s three-hour “Gourmet Chinatown” tour, which includes three sit-down tastings along a historic tour route.

Roasted Pear and Rainbow Chard Salad
Elizabeth Stark

“15 Times Swiss Chard Was Just as Good as Kale (If Not Better)”
Julie R. Thomson

If, like Brigid and Rich, you’re committed to eating more “superfoods” (or if you just want to bring a healthier dish to a heavy Thanksgiving dinner), one of the above recipes may hit the spot. Elizabeth Stark’s blog piece and recipe offers a humorous character breakdown of the vegetable, which she deems “a chill ingredient that’s up for pretty much whatever,” and Huffington Post’s “15 Times Swiss Chard Was Just as Good as Kale (If Not Better)” lists a variety of recipes, from salads to soup, that aim to rescue the vegetable from the outskirts of the leafy greens family.


The Humans has been extended until January 3 at the Laura Pels Theatre. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.


Related Categories:
2015-2016 Season, The Humans

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The Humans: To Watch and To Listen To

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 by Olivia O'Connor


Immerse yourself in the world of The Humans with our watch and listen list.

To Watch

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
CBS News


Remembering Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Erik says that his grandmother nearly died in a factory fire just a few blocks from Brigid’s apartment. He’s likely referring to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 145 factory workers – almost entirely young immigrant women and girls – were killed. Their deaths were largely preventable, but a lack of basic safety features created the worst possible conditions for the blaze. These two videos tell the awful story of the 1911 fire, one of the most notorious sweatshop disasters in American history, and hint at the tragedy's galvanizing effect on labor reform in the US.


To Listen To

NYC 2050: Climate Change and the Future of New York

Erik and Deirdre are skeptical about Brigid living in a ground floor/basement duplex apartment in Chinatown, in a part of the city classified as a Zone A Flood Zone. Though Brigid scoffs at her parents’ worry (and their care package, filled with batteries, LED lamps, and cans of tuna), their concern isn’t unfounded. Amidst the ongoing progression of climate change (which will bring both rising sea levels and a higher occurrence of extreme weather events), people living in coastal areas – including those in lower Manhattan – must prepare for an increased risk of flooding. The lasting impact of Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 storm that decimated large swaths of the northeastern seaboard, continues to place huge demands on New York and New Jersey, as clean-up efforts have had to coincide with preparations for the next storm. This special report by WNYC projects what life in New York may look like in 2050, a year in which the New York City Panel on Climate Change estimates sea levels will have risen by some 11 to 21 inches.


The Humans has been extended to play until January 3 at the Laura Pels Theatre. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.

Related Categories:
2015-2016 Season, The Humans

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The Humans: To Read

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 by Olivia O'Connor


Speech & Debate and Sons of the Prophet
Stephen Karam

Sons of the Prophet

Sons of the Prophet

The Humans is Stephen Karam’s third play at Roundabout. 2008’s Speech & Debate, which launched the Roundabout Underground program, follows three high school misfits as they navigate personal secrets and high school politics. 2011’s Sons of the Prophet introduces us to two brothers in a Pennsylvania family going through a particularly terrible year. Both plays reached well beyond the Roundabout stage; Sons of the Prophet was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2011, and Speech and Debate was recently adapted (by Karam) into a film, which is slated for release in 2016.

9/11 Interactive Timelines
9/11 Memorial Museum

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center is a formative memory in the collective consciousness of the Blake family. Aimee was interviewing at a law firm in one of the Two Towers when the first plane hit, and Erik was waiting for her at a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby. This interactive timeline, provided by the 9/11 Memorial Museum, is a detailed breakdown of the day, including a number of primary source materials (recordings, photos, and documents) and brief but detailed commentary. The site also offers a Ground Zero Recovery Timeline, following both the rescue efforts of first responders and the long-term recovery of the site.

“The Uncanny”
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Freud’s 1919 essay, one of Stephen Karam’s inspirations for The Humans, is a dense but rewarding read. In exploring definitions and examples of the uncanny (loosely defined as a sense of dread that is sparked from something familiar made strange) in life and in storytelling, the essay touches on many of the themes and motifs of The Humans: dreams, death, haunted houses, and repressed emotions. Freud specifically discusses the uncanny in fiction, noting that the uncanny best emerges in a fictional world that looks and functions exactly like our (real) world and takes our world’s view of the uncanny… within that familiar premise, the uncanny can emerge, and can be pushed by the storyteller (in this case, the playwright) beyond the bounds of real-world experience.

Federico García Lorca

One of the epigraphs that begins the script of The Humans is from Federico García Lorca’s poem “Dance of Death:” “The mask. Look at the mask! Sand, crocodile, and fear above New York.” Lorca wrote the poem during a nine month visit to New York, during which he was supposed to be studying at Columbia but mostly wandered the city, getting to know its neighborhoods and culture. His experience prompted Poet in New York, a book of nearly apocalyptic poems on city life. “Dance of Death,” one of the poems of this volume, was written in December 1929, in the wake of the US Stock Market crash. The crash and its aftereffects color much of the collection, which paints a picture of New York in both flux and decline. Contemporary reviewers have noted that the collection has new significance in the post-9/11 era. Lorca’s insights on the city are an illuminating companion to The Humans, in which both the economic recession and the effects of 9/11 loom.

The Humans is extended to play until January 3 at the Laura Pels Theatre. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.

Related Categories:
2015-2016 Season, The Humans

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