Plastic Dreams: An Over-the-Top Version of "Playing House" Ends

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Suzanne Heintz
From Suzanne Heintz's Playing House series.
Suzanne Heintz had just moved to Denver from her home town of Yonkers when she found herself arguing with her mom, again, about marriage. Specifically, about Heintz’s lack of one. “It’s not like you can go out and buy a family,” Heintz told her mother.

Then again, maybe you can. In a moment of parental defiance, Heintz went to a retail liquidation outlet in Aurora and purchased two mannequins: her tall-dark-and-hollow husband, Chauncey, and their forever-young daughter, Mary Margaret. Using her store-bought family, she began staging the sorts of scenes that married friends posted on Facebook. In December 2000, one became a sarcastic Christmas card. And that was the start of Playing House, her long-term mixed-media project chronicling the evolution of one extraordinarily ordinary family.

For the whole story, read "After Twenty Years, Suzanne Heintz Is Done With Playing House."