The House that Will Not Stand

The House that Will Not Stand
Horizon Theatre
through August 6, 2023

This is one very deep story brought to stage by Marcus Gardley, who also has done the new script for the musical film, The Color Purple. This one did win an OBIE in 2019. Gardley’s opus, directed by Thomas W. Jones, II is set in NOLA back in 1813, a decade after it became part of the USA.

If you have read of some of the tales from Louisiana, then you may recall that prior to the war between the states, and the 14th Amendment, the territory had black people who were slaves and also those who had become free men and women. While interracial marriage was prohibited by law, there were often situations in which a well-off white man might take in a black woman, referred to as a placée. It was not deemed a marriage but the man usually provided a house for the woman, and most likely life estate.

The men would go after the women at some old time disco balls called quadroons, and it was the women who dressed to the nines and coyly attracted their attention. This play runs about 2.5 hours with one intermission. It is not one the kiddies would figure out. The cast consists of six live players and one dead prop dummy. Beatrice (Donna Briscoe) is a grieving widow who has three daughters, and insists on running their lives. Her just dead husband’s placée wants to have her life back. She’s played by Alia Shakira.

Nothing goes easy. Is he really dead, or speaking out from beyond? Can the daughters really attract the right guy, when they are supposed to be in 6 months of mourning? The cast and crew will pull you through a lot of angst and dread; but then it may just be a chapter of true life. After all, New Orleans has always had an unique environment, population and life style.

This show runs Wednesday to Saturday 1t 8pm, with sold out matinees on Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 5pm. For tickets just go to, and then head down to Little Five Points.