It’s hard to think of a more intimate theater experience than one set up in your own home, a few feet from your seat on the couch.
That’s why Iowa City playwright and actress Maria Vorhis’s one woman-show, “Are You There, George?” has been touring area living rooms.
“I was having lunch with friends, and they asked, ‘What’s your dream job?’” she said. “I made a joke that I’d love to just show up in people’s living rooms and do performances. Then I realized, oh, maybe that is feasible.”
The play will make wrap up its living room tour with a conventional stage debut July 12 at The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St. in Iowa City.
“It’s about a 12-year-old girl named Natalie. She is on a quest to grow boobs and find God under her bunk bed,” said Vorhis.
She said she hopes the show is a comedy that touches on universal truths, no matter the audience’s age or gender.
“This is really a human experience, not one only confined to a woman or to someone who is 12 years old,” she said.
Vorhis, 24, said she started writing the play in an effort to be more proactive about her career. That career isn’t exactly stagnant — she’s worked with Iowa City-based Working Group Theatre and Riverside Theatre, has written and performed other monologues at The Englert and was involved in the making of local independent film “These Hopeless Savages.”.
Still, she said, acting opportunities are hard to come by.
“I thought, ‘Let’s not wait around,’” she said. “So this is sort of DIY theater.”
The effort is paying off. The play was accepted to the Minnesota Fringe Festival in her hometown of Minneapolis at the end of July. After the festival, Vorhis plans to move to Chicago, where she hopes to also stage the show.
She hopes performing in living rooms around the Windy City will be a good way to meet people and make connections in her new town.
“When you’re in someone’s home, there’s a comfort that goes along with that,” she said. “You can have conversations afterward that can be really personal.”
See the show
•What: “Are You There, George?”
•Where: The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City
•When: 7 p.m. July 12
•Tickets: http://www.englerttemp.info/ or call (319) 688-2653