News & Features

The Reviews Are In!

Mustard Seed Theatre at Fontbonne has received fantastic reviews for it's production of "Measure for Measure." See what the media has to say!


Director Deanna Jent moves Mustard Seed's production of "Measure for Measure" from Renaissance Vienna to a modern city, also called Vienna but resembling, say, New York. It's a brilliant choice.

Considered one of Shakespeare's "problem plays," "Measure for Measure" puzzles people for the good reason that it seems to make no sense. The entire plot depends on a law that forbids relations between men and women who are not married to each other; men who father children out of wedlock are subject to the death penalty. Human nature being what it is, Vienna's just asking for trouble.

But when today's theatergoers see men in doublets and ladies in wimples trying to sneak around, we shrug and assume that's how things used to be. Consequently, the story founders.

By transferring "Measure for Measure" to a world of leather jackets and karaoke bars, high-heeled sneakers and text messages, Jent reminds us of what Shakespeare and his audience undoubtedly knew as well: When the law is nuts, people are bound to break it.

That opens the door for comedy, which is just what Jent and her exceptionally talented cast offer.

Read more of this review in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


One of the perils of writing about the plays you see is that part of the evening is spent head-down furiously taking notes in the dark.

This leads to sloppy handwriting and the occasional missed action, but it does provide you with a visual record of what you liked or didn't like about a production.

Densely worded pages are a sure indication of a great production. And then there are the sudden blank spaces on the page, where something remarkable happened onstage and the beginnings of a note are scrawled but trail off into unmarred white space — this is where the play has overwhelmed the critical faculties, and not a moment of what's happening onstage can go unseen.

Mustard Seed Theatre's production of Measure for Measure resulted in three crabbed pages of sloppy ink, followed by a drift of white space that represents the final eight minutes of the play — white space that I would not mar for the world.

The reviews are in from the Riverfront Times - check them out!


Norman is thrilled. He should be. The policeman is his first role in a professional play. Many actors consider that a treasured memory.

For 28-year-old Norman, it's even more: It's his first role in a play in which all the actors got to go home after the show.

In his past, they simply went back to their cells.

Norman started acting in the Prison Performing Arts program, while he was doing time for armed robbery. With his role in Mustard Seed Theatre's production of "Measure for Measure," he becomes its first alumnus to move on to the professional stage.

Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.