The Mustard Seed Theatre opens its season with a world premiere of a new work by Jennifer Blackmer. It's called, simply, "Human Terrain," (not to be confused with the 2010 documentary film of the same name) and it's beautifully comfortable at Mustard Seed, which has a charter of examining moral questions. There is a tension between these softest of sciences and the hard facts of military force. Can they ever work together toward a common goal? And who decides the goal?
It's been two-and-a-half years since Deanna Jent's remarkable play, "Falling", premiered at the Mustard Seed Theatre. This has been a busy time for Ms. Jent and her play. An off-Broadway production in 2012 was met with glowing reviews (and a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Play"). "Falling" was produced in Los Angeles in 2013 and is appearing all over the country this year. Next year Brazil!
Yes, Christmas might be the best time to see "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," but any time of year is a good time to revisit a moment of such humanity in a troubled world.
Some one-person shows have one character. Some have many characters. "The Purpose Project: Thao's Library" has one actor and one character, and they are the same person.
I approached the Mustard Seed Theatre's production of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" with a "how are they going to make it work on stage" skepticism. The 400-plus page novel spans a woman's life, from abusive childhood experiences through near death, attempted murder, arson and a suicide to finding love, happiness and acceptance. That simply seems a bit too much to convey in a single night of theater.
The Mustard Seed Theater's current production, "Mrs. Sorken" and "The Duck Variations," features two short pieces presented in a fast-paced and quickly executed evening of theater. The engaging cast, complemented by an appropriately nondescript set and technical design, are seasoned veterans who inhabit their characters with a light, cheery touch and deft sense of timing.
A hilarious look at a young writer's spiritual quest for the perfect personification of his personal Jesus.
Director Deanna Jent reprises one of her best-known productions in this version of Going to See the Elephant by Karen Hensel and Elana Kent. In the theatre community, the now-defunct but highly respected Orange Girls Company offered this play, director and leading lady, Nancy Lewis, as its first outing and it won several Kevin Kline Awards, including one for Lewis at “Maw,” surprising almost everyone.
The Winter’s Tale experience starts promisingly when audience members are issued necklace essay writer badges instead of tickets to enter, which are examined by a couple of sober, black-clad guards using laser pointers.
Mustard Seed Theatre presents "Playland," the story of two men wrestling with inner demons played out upon the grounds of a traveling amusement park in South Africa. The black box theatre at Fontbonne University is a malleable space. Having both painted and acted in the theatre, I am somewhat smitten with its versatility.