Speakeasy Dollhouse at Weylin!
Cynthia Von Buhler brought back Speakeasy Dollhouse to Weylin after its Brooklyn debut last year.
“The speakeasy is our dollhouse and the audience are the dolls.” – Cynthia von Buhler
Speakeasy Dollhouse is a time capsule transporting audiences to the scene of a riveting crime and then inviting them to live fully in that world, erasing the boundary between themselves and the performers.
The plays are interactive, non-fictional investigative stories inside sensory theatrical worlds. The Speakeasy Dollhouseexperience begins with a series of emails featuring actual news articles, investigative dollhouse recreations and a password for entry through a secret door where guests are given a role to play.
Cynthia von Buhler, a visual artist and author, is the creator of the Speakeasy Dollhouse series.
Von Buhler’s long running immersive play, Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning explores the murder of von Buhler’s Italian immigrant grandfather, Frank Spano. A speakeasy owner, Spano was shot and killed on a Manhattan street in 1935. Though the shooter was caught, his case was inexplicably dismissed, leaving the question of motive forever unanswered. Long haunted by the mystery, von Buhler, whose mother was born the day her grandfather died, began interviewing family members about the murder. She scoured autopsy reports, police records, and court documents in search of answers. Inspired by a 1940s investigative technique called “nutshell studies,” von Buhler recreated the crime scene in an elaborate dollhouse diorama (which was written about in a New York Times feature story).