A whole new kind of open house

Like a lot of people who have earned the right to call Philadelphia home, Kendra McQueen has mixed feelings about the city — especially as the air begins to cool. “If the house doesn’t sell quick, I’m not spending another winter in Philadelphia,” says McQueen, before quickly adding: “I can be a little cynical about Philadelphia, but I do love it.”

McQueen, who lives with her family in Mayfair, had been entertaining a move to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when she read about Headlong Dance Theater’s latest project, “This Town is a Mystery,” in Metro. The troupe was looking for families to not only host a Live Arts production in their homes, but to create and star in the show, as well.

For McQueen, the project presented an opportunity to share her family’s Philadelphia story before saying goodbye. “I’m a spiritual person, so I look at it from a higher place,” she says. “My higher power is saying, ‘I’m going to help you make this decision to move — but at the same time, I’m going to give you these great last memories.

The McQueens were one of the four households chosen to develop a performance about their lives with professional guidance from Headlong. The family was ahead of the game: Kendra, a social worker, has a background in performing arts, her 12-year-old son is a ballet dancer, her stepdaughter is a cheerleader at Penn State and her husband had no qualms about singing a little Sinatra in front of strangers.

After buying tickets, audience members will find out which house they’re going to. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share after the performance — as well as their own story about this mysterious town.

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