MSMC Theatre’s The Clean House a Clean Sweep

Clean House

Actors Kimberly Sheamon (left) and Joseph Mastando (right) during a scene of the performance. (photo by William Biersack)

by William Biersack and Christina Cerutti

On April 11th, 12th, and 13th The Mount’s production of The Clean House, written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Professor James Phillips, was loved by all who attended. A whimsical romantic comedy centered on a Brazilian cleaning lady, The Clean House kept the audience’s attention from beginning to end. For those not familiarized with the play prior to seeing it hadn’t expected the story to be so captivating. Outsiders may question the title and how there could be an interesting play about a house that was clean. However, this was not the case.

Matilde, the primary character in The Clean House, moves to the United States from Brazil following the death of her parents, both great comedians. She is hired by Lane, a prominent doctor, to clean her home during the day. Depressed by her all too serious job description, Matilde cannot find the ability to clean the house or come up with new jokes. In response to these events, Lane’s sister Virginia, who is lonely and unhappy with her life, offers to clean Lane’s house in return for Matilde’s company. Meanwhile, Lane is trying to maintain a rational mind after her husband finds happiness with another woman. The cast of The Clean House includes Liliana Peralta-Zapata as Matilde, Erin-Therese Vecchi as Lane, Joyce Hausermann as Virginia, Joseph Mastando as Lane’s husband Charles, Kimberly Sheamon as Charles’ lover Ana, with Thomas Kellett and Rebecca Gordils as Matilde’s parents.

The actors and actresses who portrayed the characters of The Clean House delivered their lines on point, especially during comedic times and punchlines. Even with the controversial plot points of adultery, disease, and death there was humor in it all. The show was a bright light shining on some of the dark spots in life that one way or another an audience member can relate to. In addition, The Clean House offered insight into themes of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. The set, giving the image of a pristine white living room, represented the ideals of cleanliness and purity. Having the character of Matilde costumed in black represented how different she was from everything and everyone else around her. The overall outcome of the production was a huge success and all of the long hours devoted into practicing were seen on stage. The director James Phillips, the crew, and the cast did an outstanding job. It was a joyful surprise to see how wonderful the Mount’s production of The Clean House was.

In addition to the buzz that the performances have been creating, on Friday the 12th the members of the audience were able to witness a moment to remember. Actor Tom Kellett brought his girlfriend of three years, Stage Manager Megan Panagia, out onto the stage and proposed to her in front of the audience, which she happily accepted. Both are seniors and are graduating this May. The Mount Messenger would like to extend its congratulations to both Tom and Megan, wishing both of them happiness in their years together.