Rent A Family (Part 1)
|Work In Progress|
|Original Broadcast Date|
|Barbara Sohmers, Mark Hammer, Arthur Miller, Tim Jerome, Nick Ullette, Carolyn Swift, Larry Block, Lynn, Sarah, Carmen, Thomas, Timo, Sharon, Christa|
|Scripted Actors, Improv Actors, Panel Discussion, 1 hour|
|Followed by:||Rent A Family (Part 2)|
"Anyway they closed the office and they let me go."
The program explores an organization that rents women with children to bachelors for days at a time. A woman talks about signing up with the program. Panel discussion about the program with a spokesman and questioners: men who choose a range of different families; renting spare children; the cost of different families; built in obsolescence; the relative value of long and short term relationships; the RAF as prostitution. Clips from the catalog of applicant videos against a background of chimes and Joe listing random nouns. The woman discusses her first experience in the program. Panel discussion continues: loneliness; the no parent family; intimacy in short term relationships; fast moving society, a bachelor in RAF commits suicide. More catalog clips. The woman describes the first meeting with her renter for a picnic on the beach. [Spoiler removed.] Panel discussion: the strangeness of the encounter as a positive, alienation in ordinary marriage.
There is/was an actual "Rent-A-Family" company in Japan that sent actors to visit lonely parents - see the Winter 1994 "In Context".
This show was so emotionally powerful, that the actors involved often broke down in tears (in real life) during the taping.
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