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With his drama "Home Land," playwright Christopher Cartmill has crafted a latticework made up of initially seeming disparate words and times, memories and histories.

But thewriter's theatrical fabric is a tapestry of interconnectedness that weaves a binding melange of emotions and awareness.

While the play, currently being performed in the round in the Lied Center's Johnny Carson Theatre, is a staged reading, not a full production, there is still plenty of dramatic impact.

Cartmill's play searches for that elusive recognition of what is home to an individual. What makes something home?

How different, or similar, is the idea of home to each of us?

The two-hour plus piece is staged within the structure of a sacred Native circle with each of the cast of eight (who play multiple characters) situated at one of a compass' directional points.

Centuries - from the 17th to the 21st - and characters - from a Spanish conquistador to a care volunteer from Denmark and Chief Standing Bear to a pioneer Mennonite - are both distinctive and intermingled, ultimately braiding a message of history, self-awareness, comprehension and universality.

The importance of phrasing, timing and intonation is of critical importance in a staged reading, where generally the piece's actors are more restrained in performance.

The cast of "Home Land" - Kathyrn Layng Hwang, Teddy Canez, David Strathairn, Leroy McClain, Maria Teresa Creasey, Annie Henk, Dan C. Jones and Jeremy Kendall - not only achieve the above, but deliver nicely conceived and executed portrayals with depth and profundity.

"Home Land" is a piece that explores the past and future of each of us in the present.


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