Review: Seeds (Crow’s Theatre)

Seeds Photo of Eric Peterson by Guntar Kravis

Seeds takes root at The Distillery District

Seeds is currently onstage at The Young Centre for the Performing Arts. The reinvigorated Distillery District in downtown Toronto is where the play takes place.

Seeds is a play about who controls just that, seeds. Since making booze is all about seed manipulation, could there be a more perfect place than The Distillery District for such a play?

Seeds is basically an excellent piece of investigative journalism onstage. It’s the retelling of the Monsanto versus Schmeiser case.

Eric Peterson plays Percy Schmeiser. Genetically Modified seeds made it on to Schmeiser’s four square kilometer Saskatchewan farm. A complex court case is the result, with lots of “he said”, “she said”, “we said” and “they said”.

Unless you have a double major in law and DNA, you might need a scorecard to keep track of this one!

Like most people, I care about what I put on my plate. I care about what I put into my body. I read nutrition labels, find Howard Lyman interesting, buy local food and when I pick up a bottle of wine, it is going to be from Niagara.

So I was really looking forward to meeting some like-minded people and learning something.

That being said, I don’t need or appreciate being hit on the head with the obvious. Maybe some people do; I know some people like to play Food, Inc. for their families at Christmas.

Mike, my cohort for the evening, entered the theatre with me. We were confronted with a heavy, serious question. Mike had spent the afternoon making arrangements for his ailing grandmother. I’d spent the better part of the afternoon “being there” for my friend Stan.

Mike pulled out his iPhone. A couple of clicks and suddenly the right wing was agreeing with the left. What was the answer to that most difficult question? A George Harrison song!

I loved the set and how it is inviting. It was inviting but also a maze. It’s really like peeking into a science lab. At the same time, it was like peeking into a courtroom. Then again, it was like peeking into the kitchen of the Schmeiser family, or maybe even a crop maze.

A lot of people put a lot of work into Seeds. It shows too. There is great writing, great preparation, and an incredible set.

Playwright Annabel Soutar has created something incredibly important and powerful. Seeds is a great play, but to me it feels like the wrong play at the wrong time. In these days of lower wages, more work and more bills, we need to sow seeds of healing and love, not division and hate.

 Details:

– Seeds plays at the The Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill Street, until March 10, 2012
– Shows are Mon-Sat 8 pm, matinees Sat 2 pm
– Tickets are $10-$35
– Tickets are available online at http://www.youngcentre.ca/productions/12_season/seeds.html

-Photo of Eric Peterson by Guntar Kravis