New Work The Humans
The Humans begins with the arrival of parents Erik and Deirdre Blake, along with their daughter Aimee and Erik’s ailing mother Momo, at their youngest daughter’s new apartment. Brigid, a classically trained musician and composer, has offered to host Thanksgiving dinner this year with her boyfriend Richard. The elder Blakes have driven in from Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the occasion. Aimee, a lawyer, is struggling with a devastating breakup as well as ulcerative colitis, and Momo is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The evening is punctuated by strange noises from upstairs, poor cell reception, and occasional blackouts as everyone begins catching up.
As the dinner progresses, several things become slowly apparent: Erik and Deirdre have some bad news to share, Aimee is still not over her ex-girlfriend Carol, and Deirdre is not comfortable with the fact that Richard and Brigid live together but aren’t planning to marry. Everyone continues to eat and drink alcohol, and tensions in the apartment begin to heighten. We learn that Brigid’s career is struggling and that although she is constantly applying for artist grants and unpaid internships, she seems to be making no progress. Aimee, meanwhile, has learned that she will need extensive colon surgery as her condition worsens. Additionally, she is being let go at the firm where she works. Erik discovers that Richard is a trust fund baby as well as being medicated for depression, and the two exchange a series of heated remarks on the subject. Deirdre and Brigid clash over Deirdre’s eating habits (she has recently rejoined the Weight Watchers bandwagon) and Brigid’s marital status. Over everything, Momo frequently erupts in bouts of verbal nonsense language. Aimee makes frequent visits to the bathroom and uses the trips as an excuse to try and contact Carol, who is having a family dinner of her own.
As the strange and unpleasant noises from outside the apartment continue, everyone is forced into smaller and