Honest Pint Theatre Company; Photo by Riley Hough

Home (Brew) for Christmas

In December 2019/January 2020, Doby Megan DohmLeave a Comment

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Honest Pint Theatre Company presents local storytellers at one-night-only Home Brew event.

In the U.K., an honest pint of beer is full to the brim, satisfying and as advertised. Searching for a name and direction for his new theatre company, actor David Henderson found the idea of an honest pint inspiring. 

When the company opened its first production in 2013—Keith Huff’s “Steady Rain”— Henderson didn’t know if Honest Pint would make it beyond the first offering. But the next year, there was another play. And then another.

Following a 2017 production of “Night Alive,” local director, actress and Henderson’s lifelong friend, Susannah Hough, came aboard as the company’s co-artistic director. Hough and Henderson share the work load and provide balance to one another; she has wide eyes when excited, he has laugh lines. She puts out fires, he might stoke the flames a bit before helping her extinguish them. Their combined skills draw patrons to the theatre and make each show an unforgettable experience. 

“[Studies show] that an audience’s heartbeats synch up when they watch a live performance, and that’s kind of like our cue,” Hough explains. “What’s going to make that happen?”

After six years, Honest Pint has ten shows to its credit. Productions are fueled by expression, decaf Americanos and peanut M&Ms, and plays are selected as dares to be fulfilled. Hough and Henderson agree that the most valuable reviews are from attendees moved or challenged by what they saw. And, to continue building this community of story-lovers, Honest Pint began its one-night-only Home Brew series. 

A Home Brew evening begins with the essentials: socializing, food, beer and wine. Hough and Henderson create a warm party atmosphere, complete with decor, a playlist, and introductions. Then, the stage is opened to local storytellers, everyone from podcasters to writers, actors to bloggers; if someone has a story worth sitting with, Home Brew has a place for them. 

The December 1 Home Brew event features actor David Bartlett, presenting his one-man show “In the Boots of St. Nick.” Bartlett has been playing Santa since 1969, and he draws on his experience to speak on the necessity of preserving belief. Bartlett’s show includes anecdotes that will make you laugh and break your heart, Henderson says. 

While most Home Brews are pay-as-you-will, this is a ticketed benefit, with sales directly supporting the artists working on future Honest Pint productions. Henderson says that the message of “The Boots of St. Nick” is essential in theatre — that the suspension of disbelief and the perpetuation of belief are both parts of filling a theatre-goer’s cup.

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