ensemble theatre · manigua productions · Ages 14+ · world premiere · 1hr · United States of America

Buy Tickets

Add to Favorites

Send Message

This one-act play portrays two generations of women coping with motherhood and madness in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Torn between historical and personal traumas, and love, fear, and resentment for their daughters, Candela and Gloria’s stories are almost impossible to tell apart. Each day, without reprieve, they speak to themselves and to each other across a wall. One day, however, the wall no longer holds, and Candela and Gloria come face to face. They simply can’t forget—if anything, they remember too much. Likewise, their daughters—now women living in exile—grapple with lives turned upside-down by history and personal choices. Their mothers will die without them. Their own daughters, too, will leave them one day. Ultimately, HOUSES WITHOUT WALLS reminds us that motherhood, like a revolution, is a life-altering event—often wrought with obligation, madness, and pain. Read an excerpt at LCG Lounge:

“[…] ‘When we leave, we take nothing with us.’ Yet it is exactly this “nothing” left behind that is the central presence in Houses Without Walls — the oppressive presence of absence. The immensity of a loss and unknowing that sits thick in the air, drowning the inhabitants in the molasses of memories of the past and anxieties of the future. A MUST see.“ Juli Crockett, American Playwright & Director

“Susannah Rodriguez Drissi has found a uniquely theatrical way to convey the inter-generational pathos and humor of displacement, exile and re-connection — this is a deeply lyrical, earthy and compelling piece of theatre.” Guy Zimmerman, Award-Winning Writer, Director & Producer, Padua Playwrights

“Houses Without Walls poignantly shows us the emotional and psychological challenges that Cuban mothers and daughters face during the diasporic conditions following the 1980 Mariel Boatlift. As poetic as it is abstract, this is the language of theatre.” Beatriz Ortega, Producer, Jeronimo Stage. Los Angeles / Madrid | Associate Producer, The Los Angeles Theatre Center

“Houses without Walls is an eerie and poignant meditation on the violence of separation, of motherhood, and of what it means to be left behind.  The musings, ravings and fragile interactions of two mothers left in Cuba by their migrant daughters haunt the empty spaces of their troubled lives, revealing new scenes of hurt in the years of the Mariel exodus from Cuba to the U.S.”  Esther Whitfield, Ph.D., Brown University, Author of Cuban Currency: The Dollar and “Special Period” Fiction (2008)

“Susannah Rodriguez Drissi’s Houses Without Walls transmits the complicated emotions that can be attributed to slow political and economic violence and its effects on a people. […] Despite characters’ constant assertion of their difference from one another—a seemingly natural response to a troubled collective environment of 1980s Cuba, Houses Without Walls insists upon proximity, disintegrating the walls and forcing us to empathize with all who have endured such a difficult fate.” Jacqueline Loss, Ph.D., Tulane University, Author of Dreaming in Russian: The Cuban Soviet Imaginary (2013)

“Susannah Rodriguez Drissi’s Houses Without Walls importantly dramatizes the challenges and rewards of being both a mother and daughter in diasporic worlds. The play’s narration and dialog are beautifully abstract. In writing this way, Rodriguez Drissi makes it clear that the relationships amidst 1980s Cuba and its Diaspora are both captivating and raw.” Kris Juncker, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

“Houses Without Walls is an extraordinary work exploring the topical issues of emigration, physical and virtual borders and the difficulty of communication between two generations of women. […] This is a play that clearly captures the pain of physical separation and distance at a time when the plea of refugees and the politically justified need to build walls test our humanity daily.” Carmen Levick, Ph.D., Department of Theatre University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

See PRESS above for full version of reviews.

production team

U 97281 t 9891726

susannah rodriguez drissi

playwright, director, producer
U 78406 t 5345588

magdalena emar *

actor, assistant producer
U 98432 t 3062497

maria hojas

U 98433 t 5188027

* Fringe Veteran

Combined Artform's PICK OF THE FRINGE

A 3968 m 4541393

Fifth smash year! Too many shows and not enough time? Our experienced, independent judges see tons of productions across every genre, then we choose, and present live highlights from, five of the best shows at each Pick of the Fringe performance.


A 3545 m 8670102

Written by the award winner of 2014 hit Angels and Whiskey and directed by Best Comedy for the DC Fringe winner Branda Lock, we finally answer the question: what happens to gods who have no believers left? Let There Be Thistles: An Ungodly Comedy.