Archipelago Theatre’s “Stealing Home” Is a Solo Vocal Cabaret by Ellen Hemphill

Archipelago Theatre's "Stealing Home" opens April 14th
Archipelago Theatre's "Stealing Home" opens April 14th

Archipelago Theatre's "Stealing Home" opens April 14th
Archipelago Theatre's "Stealing Home" opens April 14th

Archipelago Theatre will present Stealing Home (The Architecture of Intimacy), a solo vocal cabaret by Archipelago co-founder and artistic and managing director Ellen Hemphill, on April 14-17 and 20-23 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC. An assistant professor of the practice and director of undergraduate studies for Duke University’s Theater Studies Department, Hemphill and Rafael Lopez Barrantes co-founded Archipelago Theatre in 1990 in Chapel Hill.

In its news release for Stealing Home, Archipelago Theatre also writes:

“A house should be capable of dreaming; a dwelling with room for fantasy, centers of solitude, planes of boredom, a stable for tending nightmares.” Nor Hall.

“If home is where the heart is, but you can’t go home again, how do you reclaim your heart? One of the Triangle’s most adventurous and acclaimed theater companies presents an evening of songs about the intimate spaces that we occupy and share.

Stealing Home is a performance piece that takes the re-interpretation of well-known songs, original film and an installation-inspired set, to create a memory-scape of personal and structural interiors: finding bits of home through sound, image, and memory.”

In addition to playwright and performer Ellen Hemphill, the Archipelago Theatre creative team for Stealing Home includes vocal director Richard Armstrong, arranger and musical director Allison-Leyton Brown, film designer Jim Haverkamp, choreographer Terry Beck, and set designer Tori Ralston. Musicians accompanying Hemphill include: Doug Largent, Alison Weiner, Danny Gotham, Jay Cartwright, and Ken Ray Wilemon.

Also according to the Stealing Home news release:

“Ellen Hemphill is the artistic and managing director and co-founder of Archipelago Theatre Company in Chapel Hill, NC, and has created and directed over twenty productions for Archipelago. Her recent creation Out of the Blue was performed in 2010 at Duke University. She is also a singer and performer, and has written and performed in several solos for Archipelago. Stealing Home is her first full-length solo/cabaret in many years.

“[Hemphill] is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Duke Theatre Studies Department. She has been at Duke since 1993 and directed the department’s productions of The Crucible, The Trojan Women, Exit the King and — in the fall of 2011 — A Doll’s House.

“[Ellen Hemphill] has also taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s] graduate School of Dramatic Arts as a visiting professor, and directed When the Bulbul Stopped Singing for PlayMakers Repertory Company in 2007. [Hemphill] also teaches voice and gesture with the American Dance Festival, and is a long-time member of the Roy Hart Theatre [] of France, where she taught and performed internationally for 13 years. She is a consultant for Cardea Consulting [], bringing the skills of the actor to lay professionals who are seeking to improve their abilities in the areas of public presentation and communication.”

Archipelago Theatre presents STEALING HOME (THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTIMACY), a solo vocal cabaret by Ellen Hemphill, at 8:15 p.m. April 14-6, 3:15 p.m. April 17, and 8:15 p.m. April 20-23 at Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $12 weeknights and $17 Friday-Saturday, except April 14th pay-what-you-can preview (door sales only, $5 minimum), $5 Student Rush Tickets, and $2 discount for seniors 62+ and active-duty military personnel.

BOX OFFICE: 919/682-3343 or

SHOW: and






Ellen Hemphill: and (Archipelago Theatre) and (Duke Theater Studies).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

To start your FREE subscription to this newsletter, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE TTR in the Subject: line.

To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).