Metro Theater Company’s latest offering, In My Granny’s Garden, is a delightful way for very young children to learn about the joys of gardening.
The play is based on the children’s book of the same name, with text by Pearl Cleage and Zaron Burnett Jr. and illustrations by Radcliffe Bailey.
The main characters are a child and her grandmother. Granny leads her granddaughter through a complete season of gardening. Alicia Revé Like as Granny and Jenise Sheppard as the child portray the most loving of relationships. The love spills over into what they are doing together.
Also appearing onstage and adding to the fun are assistant stage manager Camille Sharp and musicians Syrhea Conaway and Colin McLaughlin. The composers are Conaway, McLaughlin, and Riley Schatz.
The performers are not the only ones who get into the action. The immersive Metro staging, directed by Rosemary Newcott, provides activities for children during each phase of gardening, from planting to harvesting.
The seating facilitates participation. Patches of green carpeting create socially distanced seating areas for one family group to share. Children have plenty of room to move about in the space between the pods.
The production includes impressive work by scenic designer Kat Conley, scenic painter Cristie Johnston, costume designer Sydney Roberts, costume assistant Nathan Lessly, stage manager and production manager Jimmy Bernatowicz, and technical director Erik Kuhn.
The roving production opened at the Metro Theater Company Studio and continues at the following venues:
- Better Family Life, May 20–23
- EarthDance Farms, June 3–12
- Eckert’s Belleville Farm, June 16–26
A virtual production will be streaming June 1–26 at metroplays.org.
Photo by Jennifer A. Lin