It’s almost time for our next production, Seedfolks, a one-woman play about a community coming together to improve itself. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance!
The Story You Will See
Seedfolks is a very special presentation at The Rose Theater. It is a “one-woman show” that was originally produced by the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, MN (another of America’s leading theaters for young audiences), and it is now touring across America. It is about a community of neighbors in Cleveland, OH. At the start of the story, they do not know—or even trust—each other but they gradually come together to plant, grow, and share a community garden in a vacant lot. When young Kim decides to turn the rat-infested lot next to her apartment into a place to plant some beans, she activates each and every member of the community around her. Unflinchingly honest and unabashedly heartwarming, Seedfolks is filled with raw, inspiring stories you’ll never forget. Slowly, the people around Kim begin to sow seeds of hope amid the dirt and grit, tending dreams to full bloom. Ivey Award-winning actress Sonja Parks brings more than 20 characters to life as stunning projections and animation bring Fleischman’s world to life.
Feb 23 – Mar 11 | Best for ages 8+ | 60 minutes without an intermission
The Characters You Will Meet
All Characters are Portrayed by Ivey Award-Winning Actress, SONJA PARKS:
KIM—a girl from Vietnam who plants some lima beans seed in memory of her father on the anniversary of his death. Kim starts the garden that gets her whole community to come together make positive change in their neighborhood.
ANA—an elderly woman who moved into the neighborhood in 1919 as a little girl. She has witnessed lots of changes as waves of immigrant families have come and gone of the decades. At first she does not trust Kim and what she is doing digging in the dirt, but she investigates and feels bad for being so judgmental.
WENDELL—a school janitor who helps Ana out sometimes. He has lost his wife and son. Ana asks him to help nurture Kim’s seeds and it inspires him to plant some seeds himself. It reminds him of his childhood growing up on a farm in Kentucky.
GONZALO—a boy who lives in the neighborhood with his “Mami,” Consuelo. He is supposed to look after his elderly uncle, Tio Jaun, who appears to suffer from a type of dementia. Gonzalo finds his uncle talking to Wendell about growing things, which seems to be helping his memory.
LEONA—a 4th grade teacher who worried about the neighborhood her kids are growing up in and decided to get the city to help clean up the vacant lot. She has the patience, perseverance, and cleverness to navigate the bureaucracy to get things done.
GINNY—a girl from Haiti who has ambitious plans to go to college if her family can figure out how to afford it. Her father, Phillippe, a taxi driver, uses the garden to hatch a plan to raise funds for college.
SAM—an elderly Jewish gentleman who has spent his adult years trying to make the world a better, more peaceful place by getting people to talk to one another. He hires a teenage from Puerto Rico to help him to grow things in the garden.
SAE YOUNG—an older woman who immigrated with her husband from Korea to find work and build a family. After surviving a violent attack at her dry cleaning business, Sae Young avoids most people, but the garden allows her to venture back out into her community.
CURTIS—a charismatic, handsome young man who is used to being admired. the attention of others caused his girlfriend, Lateesha, to break up with him. He is trying to win her back by planting tomatoes for her in the community garden.
AMIR—a gentleman from India who has a fabric store in the neighborhood. He plants some vegetables and notices how the garden is helping his neighbors come together to spend time together in positive ways.
FLORENCE—an older woman in the neighborhood whose arthritis keeps her from being able to work in the garden. But she appreciates how it is bringing positive change to her neighborhood and hopes the spirit of it will survive the winter to bloom again in the spring.
Know Before You Go
Here are some things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:
All of the characters in Seedfolks are played by one talented actor named Sonja Parks. Older children will likely find it fascinating to watch how Ms. Parks uses her acting skills to transform herself into a whole cast of characters. Younger audience members may find the concept a little confusing and may need some help to make sense of it.
The first character we meet in Seedfolks is “Kim.” Kim decides to plant seeds in honor of her father
who has passed away. Some children may find this loss of a parent that begins the story sad or upsetting.
The vacant lot where the community garden is planted is in a part of the city of Cleveland that has experienced some challenges. There has been some crime that has made some people very wary of their neighbors. Some people even assume that their neighbors are up to no good. The characters talk frankly about these issues and some of them judge other people before they get to know them. You may want to have a conversation about these community dynamics after the show and discuss what prejudice means.
A couple of characters who participate in the community garden project talk about choices that are questionable, such as growing marijuana as a crop in the lot. Most of these choices are reconsidered during the story, but you may want to be prepared to talk to your children about some of the things the characters say.
From Story to Stage
Seedfolks is based on a “Spoken Musical” created by Paul Fleischman. He wrote a new adaptation to tour as a script for one actor portraying multiple characters.
This production of Seedfolks was originally created by the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, MN. The CTC is one of the largest and most respected theaters for young audiences in the United States.
The Seedfolks production will be touring at theaters across the country into May of this year, including off-Broadway at the New Victory Theater in New York City.
Sonja Parks is an award-winning actress who bring over 20 characters to life on stage during the show. Ms. Parks has numerous theater, film, and television credits and “a fierce believer in the power of art to encourage social change.” You can read more about her amazing accomplishments on her website: www.sonjaparks.com .
Public parking is available in the Douglas County parking garage at 1910 Harney Street (19th & Harney Streets). During mainstage performances at The
Rose, the cost is a flat rate of $2, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission. During all other times, the cost is $1.50 for the first hour and $1.25 for each additional hour.
Parking meters adjacent to The Rose Theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The cost of the meters closest to The Rose (with orange stickers) is $1.25 per hour, with a maximum of 2 hours. Meters beside the Federal Reserve Building are $0.25 per hour, with a maximum of 10 hours. Metered parking spots are free on Sundays and holidays. Parking meters around the theater are connected to thePark Omaha app, available as a free download for Apple and Android devices.
While at The Rose
Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session! A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.
Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph! Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their
autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.Take Home a Souvenir! The Rose Guild presents a souvenir stand before and after each performance offering a variety of fun and inexpensive show-related mementos. The proceeds help to support the great education programs at The Rose Theater!
Grab a Theater Class Brochure! If you like what you saw on the stage and think you’d like to be a part of it, try taking a theater class here at The Rose Theater. We offer a wide range of arts classes for every interest and experience level. Please visit our website to read director’s notes and view production photos. Box Office Assistance The Rose Box Office is open Monday through
Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at (402) 345-4849. Information and ticketing is also available online at www.rosetheater.org.
The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, United States