Adapted from American cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s award-winning, graphic memoir Fun Home, the musical Fun Home explores the childhood and youth of Alison Bechdel. Beginning in her home studio, we see adult Alison work on the first draft of her graphic memoir. As she sketches, imagines and draws, vignettes from her past come to life on stage. The narrative structure is not a traditional through-line but instead, a moving series of memories, fantasies and discoveries. We meet Alison at three different stages of her life: Small Alison, a precocious 9-year-old living with her family in the small Pennsylvania town of Beech Creek; Medium Alison, a college freshman stepping into the real world for the first time; and Adult Alison, a 43-year-old cartoonist. We meet the Bechdel Family; Alison’s father, Bruce, an English teacher and Victorian house restorationist, her mother, Helen, and her two brothers John and Christian.
Over the course of the show, we watch Alison grow up before our eyes in Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 1980s. This was a time when many Americans were craving personal liberation, rebellion against government, and seeking individualism through religion, pop-culture, gender roles and sexuality. Reflecting from memory to memory, Alison questions herself: who are these people who made me and who am I?