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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25138

Title: Harriet's House
Authors: Goldstein, Tara
Keywords: performed ethnography
alternative ethnography movement
research-informed theatre
transnational adoption
Bogotá, Colombia
Toronto, Canada
same-sex families
LGBTQ families
Issue Date: 5-Nov-2010
Abstract: Harriet’s House dramatizes the story of a Toronto mother with three daughters, two adopted from Colombia and the challenges they face as they negotiate three family worlds: the world of their own “global family” in Toronto, the world of the daughters’ birth country, Colombia, and the new world Harriet, finds herself in when she comes out as a lesbian. The play opens with Harriet reluctantly giving her 17-year old adopted daughter Luísa permission to return to the Catholic orphanage in Bogotá where she spent three years of her childhood so that she can find out what happened to her birth mother. While Luísa is in Bogotá, Harriet comes out as a lesbian and introduces her new partner Marty to her two other daughters: 14-year old Ana, also adopted from Colombia, and 7-year old Clare, Harriet’s birth daughter. Afraid of that Luísa will reject her new relationship, Harriet doesn’t tell her about Marty until she returns home from Colombia. Heartbroken that she still hasn’t found out what happened to her birth mother, and angry that Harriet didn’t tell her about Marty sooner, Luísa returns to Bogotá to continue her search. When Harriet falls seriously ill, however, she decides to travel to Bogotá with Marty and her daughters to bring Luísa home.
Description: Harriet’s House grew out of a series of 10-minute plays that Tara Goldstein wrote about the world of transnational adoption. Tara’s research for these plays came from a variety of written narratives by adoptive families. One of these plays, Seder, won the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)’s 10-minute playwriting contest. After completing four 10-minute plays in her “global families” series, Tara wanted to explore some of the issues facing adoptive families more deeply. Using the language of the visual arts, Tara saw her 10-minute play series as set of sketches that were now able to inform a bigger painting she wanted to create. The sketches gave Tara the issues and characters she wanted to bring to life within a full-length play. In creating Harriet’s House, Tara conducted interviews with adoptive families to deepen the narrative research she had already undertaken. A four-day workshop exploring the characters, themes and politics of Harriet’s House was undertaken by Gailey Road Productions last summer (July 13-16, 2009). Then the post-workshop draft of the script was given a public reading at the International Women’s Playwright Conference in Mumbai, India, in November 2009.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25138
Appears in Collections:Faculty (CTL)

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