One of the most diverse places is often an apartment building. People from all walks of life for some reason chose to make that building their home. The place they raise their families and chase their dreams. This is no exception for the characters in Seedfolks currently playing on the Cargill Stage at the Children’s Theatre Company.
Based on the 1997 book by Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks tells the story of a vacant lot in Cleveland that is changed by those living in the apartment buildings next door. The lot goes from a toxic junk yard to a beautiful garden and neighborhood gathering spot. But its not just the lot that is transformed over the summer, it is the people who call the surrounding area home. They go from living their individual lives and passing each other with glances as their only interaction, to a family like bond. And it all started with one little Vietnamese girl who plants beans in the memory of the father she never knew.
Sonja Parks is incredible as she portrays over a dozen characters ranging in age, gender and ethnicity in this one woman show. Her transitions from from one character to another and back again is unbelievable. Her ability to do that is truly a testament to her amazing acting skills. Under the direction of Peter C. Brosius and with the help of dialect coach D’Arcy Smith, she is able to create a distinct persona for each character.
Seedfolks is a great show for older kids in grades 3-8. I found it to be very though provoking and made me wonder how many people do I come across on a regular basis that if given the opportunity to get to know them a little better, I may find we are not that much different after all.
Seedfolks runs through November 16. For more information on the show, visit the Children’s Theatre Company’s website.