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The play “4000 Miles” by Amy Herzog tells the story of Leo, a 21-year-old young man who arrives at his grandmother’s apartment, 91-year-old Vera, after traveling across the US on his bicycle. During the short weeks following Leo’s sudden arrival in Vera’s apartment in New York City, the two are examining their relationship. Through this relationship, they try to figure out – what is a home? Is it where our family and our close relationships are or is it where our freedom lies?
We live in an age when territory is seen as the symbol of stability balance but its essence is undermined by global processes that shrink the world, physically and socially. The concept of “place” and the sense of belonging are given new and profound meanings.
Raising questions about home, family, and place, we sought to perform the play in a real apartment representing Vera’s house. Vera’s living room is the theatrical space, and the theatrical world is represented in a naturalistic manner – the lighting is the lights of the house, the sound is the noises of the house and the outside, the smells are the smells of Vera’s apartment and relationships between the characters are expressed as familial relationships in the domestic space are.
As a play that examines the meaning of having a place in human experience in its day-to-day sense, we examine it through breaking the classical definitions of place as we are known in the theatre. The delicate relationships presented in the play are explored in the place they were formed – home. Thus, the hyper-realistic experience is designed to allow the audience to experience Vera and Leo’s personal moments and to participate in the questions Vera and Leo ask themselves about the meaning of home, family and place.