The Bad Seed

by Maxwell Anderson
Directed by Jessica Paquin
Greenspace Center,
815 Market St, Lewisburg

Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 2:30 p.m.

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LEWISBURG – Something wicked is coming to the stage next month as RiverStage Community Theatre presents the 1954 thriller The Bad Seed by Maxwell Anderson from February 16 to 25.  Performances will be at Greenspace Center, 815 Market Street in Lewisburg on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm on February 16, 17, 23 and 24, and 2:30pm matinee on Sunday, February 25. Tickets are $15 for general admission seating with discounts available for groups and season subscriptions, and they can be purchased at the door, by phone at 570-989-0848 or by clicking here.

The Bad Seed by Maxwell Anderson tells the story of a seemingly perfect little girl, Rhoda Penmark, who is able to charm her way into getting almost anything she wants.  However, when she loses a competition at school to a boy, and that boy mysteriously disappears during a class trip the following week, her mother Christine begins to suspect that Rhoda is not quite as perfect as she seems.  The tension and suspense builds around these two characters as gradually, Christine learns more and more about her daughter than she ever wanted to know.  A Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the 1955 Tony Award for Best Actress, The Bad Seed was based on the bestselling novel by William March and adapted into an Oscar-nominated 1956 film of the same name. The New York World-Telegram said that “it ranks with Dracula and sets your spine to as much tingling,” and other critics have described the story as, “dark, original… a technically accomplished story of suspense” and “terrifyingly good.”

The show is directed by Jessica Paquin, producer with the local award-winning company Fist-In-Post Films and a director/actress who has appeared in several RiverStage productions (All My Sons, Gypsy). “The Bad Seed was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid,” says Paquin.  “My mother and I used to watch it together. It was actually one of the first times I had seen a child actor as a lead a movie, so it was one of the inspirations for me to become involved in the dramatic arts early on. I was ecstatic to find out that the movie was actually based on a book that became a play, so naturally I thought it would be a great selection for the talented group we have at RiverStage Community Theatre.”  Paquin adds, “It’s also important to understand that while some may consider The Bad Seed to be a horror genre play, I disagree. It’s the story of a mother’s love for what she believes to be her perfect child, and the struggle that she goes through when she finds out that the daughter isn’t the perfect angel that everyone thinks she is.  It’s a really entertaining, thought-provoking drama.”

The show features a distinguished local cast, led by Caryn Rehm of Milton (Christ Wesleyan Church’s Anne of Green Gables) who plays the lead role of Christine Penmark, and Celia Sondheimer of Bloomsburg (BTE’s A Christmas Carol, Community Theatre League’s The Music Man) who plays her daughter, Rhoda.  Brad Wakeman, last seen in the Valley Players’ Night Watch plays Mr. Penmark, Virginia Zimmerman (RiverStage’s The Pavilion, Dinner With Friends) plays the upstairs neighbor Mrs. Breedlove, and Andrew Shaffer (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Black Comedy) plays her brother, Emory.  Derek Scott (A Raisin In the Sun) plays Leroy, the handyman and Rhoda’s nemesis, while Stefan Eisenhower and Jennifer Wakeman play the missing boy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daigle.  The cast is rounded out by Sarah Bell (Miss Fern), Christopher Ericson (Reginald Tasker), Jove Graham (Richard Bravo), Elise Parenzan (Messenger), and Taija Figard (Rhoda’s understudy).  Set design is led by Peter Wiley with stage management by Diane Wilson.

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