A New York Pioneer, Falling
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  • 2014-2015 Sneak Peek
  • MST Autism Education Project

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  • Enter the theatre on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Fontbonne University.
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*Please return your lanyard to the board when you leave.

 

 

 The Human Terrain written by Jennifer Sue Blackmer and directed by Lori Adams August 29 - September 14th, 2014

This new play chronicles the treasonous friendship between a female American Army consultant and an Iraqi woman, raising questions about loyalty during a time of war.

 

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by Peter Rothstein with musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach directed by Deanna Jent
November 14 – December 
14, 2014. 

This a capella musical tells the story of soldiers during the first Christmas of WWI that laid down their arms to sing Christmas carols - creating a night of peace in the midst of war. All is Calm was produced by Mustard Seed Theatre in November of 2013 to sold out houses.

 

White to Gray by local playwright and actor, Rob Maesaka, directed by Deanna Jent
February 6 - 27, 2015. 

A cruise ship leaves from Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941 carrying a Japanese-American woman and her former lover, a Caucasian man from a Navy family.  The couple reconciles on the journey, but the Japanese-American passengers are put under house arrest after the bombs drop and the man must choose between love and duty.

 

An Invitation Out by Joshua Cook directed by Deanna Jent
April 9 - 26, 2015. 

Joshua Cook is a local playwright who won the Mustard Seed Theatre Playwriting Competition in 2011 with his play Geography of NowhereAn Invitation Out is a futuristic comedy of manners that takes place in Virtual Reality, where humans “live” in avatars of their own choosing.

 

 

 

 

 

The goal of Mustard Seed Theatre’s Autism Education Project is to create a valuable teaching tool for educators in a variety of settings.  The reprised production of Falling at Mustard Seed Theatre will be professionally filmed and edited to create an educational DVD, with curriculum material for classes ranging from education to family counseling to behavioral analysis.

 

Chuckling loudly, Bishop Desmond Tutu announced on an NPR interview: “Ours is a God of Surprises!”

Indeed.

When I started writing what eventually turned into the play FALLING, I wasn’t planning on writing a play. Maybe a non-fiction piece on parenting a teen with severe autism. Maybe a poem exploring my grief/joy as my older son moved away to college.

But the words just wouldn’t cooperate. Kept turning into scenes. Scary truths started spilling out on the pages, turning aspects of my reality into fictional honesty.

And I had to decide – would I surrender to the process? Would I take the chance of exposing myself, my family, my theatre company, to potential ridicule? Could I go to the deep places where fear and faith do battle? Could I really tell the truth?

Challenged by a colleague who said, “Just write and see what happens,” I wrote some more about what I sometimes jokingly refer to as “Extreme Parenting” (A Fabulous New Sport Coming to an Arena Near You!). I didn’t think that this story would be very interesting to anyone not raising a teenage son struggling with autism, but I wrote anyway.

I hired an amazing director and cast of actors. We worked, I rewrote, we argued, I rewrote – and then it opened. And then it sold out. We extended the run, twice, and still it sold out. And then it was optioned for a production Off-Broadway – which is now scheduled to open October 15th at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

And I realized that this isn’t a story about Autism. It’s a story about loving someone who is hard to love.

And we all have that in our lives, our families. (Just realized – God kind of models that sort of love - for us. Hmmmm.)

So I’m off on this adventure to New York – starting in September I’ll be there for rehearsals with the same Director and a great new cast. I feel a little like the pioneer women in the show I’m currently directing, who have to face down the wolves; except my wolves are the fear factory in my head telling me that I’m going to let down all the investors, friends and family who believe in the show. Or, perhaps worse, that I’m going to be successful and turn into something self-centered and false.

And God chuckles, I’m sure. When I flew out to Manhattan to participate in auditions for the show, I sat in the rooftop terrace of my hotel, reviewing plans for the following day. Something pulled my attention from my papers – a movement above me – and I watched in amazement as a single white feather casually fell on my table. I was sitting under a large canopy. There were no birds around, and no other feathers to be seen anywhere.

Those of you who have seen Falling will understand the significance of that symbol. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you’ll have to trust that it was a confirmation of God’s grace.

Surprise!

 

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