ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In most divorces, Mom gets a house, Dad gets a house and the kids get a suitcase.
Susan Erickson’s “Divorce Dorm” takes a jaundiced eye at the usual scenario and upends it into a social experiment ripe with comedy and drama at Central New Mexico College’s black box theater on Nov. 10.
Witty and caring family court Judge Abram is sick and tired of people who “put more thought into buying a pickup truck than they do getting married and having kids.”
He orders four divorcing couples to live together in an abandoned convent while their children live in a home. The battling spouses include homeless teenagers overwhelmed by a baby they didn’t plan, a young gay professional couple victimized by an international adoption scam, the sleep-deprived parents of six out-of-control kids and grandparents fighting over custody of their grandson.
“Of course, they all explode when they hear about the convent,” said Erickson, who teaches theater at CNM.
“They have to have many meetings, which they grumble about,” she added. “The judge orders them to crawl their way toward enlightenment. They’re trapped.”
Writer/director Erickson has been revising the play with a cast of nine in rehearsals. Last month, her play “Prude and Prejudice” was the winner of the Vortex Theatre’s Electoral Dysfunction Short Play Festival. She has worked at CNM since 2002.