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In ‘Seedfolks,’ Harvesting Hope and Humanity in a Community Garden

Sonja Parks in the one-woman “Seedfolks,” about a neighborhood uniting around a garden. Dan Norman.

It tells the story of a community plot in a blighted urban neighborhood, and of all that takes root there: not just vegetables, but hope, trust, camaraderie and a commitment to change.

By Laurel Graeber
New York Times
May 7, 2018

Excerpt:

It all begins with a 9-year-old Vietnamese immigrant and a handful of lima beans. But what grows from that modest start seems to fill not only a vacant lot in a fictionalized Cleveland, but also the whole of the New Victory Theater and the rapt hearts of its audience.

This ragged but unstoppable garden is the setting of “Seedfolks,” the New Victory’s latest family theater production. It tells the story of a community plot in a blighted urban neighborhood, and of all that takes root there: not just vegetables, but hope, trust, camaraderie and a commitment to change.

Presented by the Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis, “Seedfolks” derives its characters and most of its script from Paul Fleischman’s 1997 young-adult novel of the same title. Its themes could not be more topical in today’s fractured, and fractious, America. When Ana, an aged resident of Gibb Street, sees Kim, the Vietnamese child, digging in the lot, she assumes that the girl must be burying drugs or a gun. When Ana’s investigation turns up only beans, she enlists Wendell, a retired janitor, to help save the tiny seedlings.

Read the complete article here.

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