“THE BAD SEED” Revisited

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Just phenomenal
Alfred Preisser, Artistic Director and “The Bad Seed” cast

 

The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) marked the final performance of the Theatre Department’s 2016-2017 production season with two one-act plays: Sorry Wrong Number, and The Bad Seed. 

The original movie, The Bad Seed, produced in 1956, is an American psychological horror/suspense melodrama involving an over-indulged child named Rhoda, committing murders when anyone crossed her the wrong way.  When the mother realizes her daughter is committing these atrocities, she looks to her own background as the biological daughter of a serial killer.  She then concluded that Rhoda’s behavior was genetic, and she was indeed a bad seed unable to change.

For those familiar with the original production, you may be a little disappointed with this ending.  However, both plays were skillfully modified to a shortened one-act play, while maintaining the basic plot of the original stories.

Set in the 1950s, The Bad Seed reaches back in time with costumes and music popular during that period, which adds another level of authenticity to the story.

Playing Rhoda in The Bad Seed is a newcomer to the HSA drama group, 10-year-old Ariyanna Salone Munford.  This is the second production for Ariyanna, who joined HSA four years ago in the pre-professional dance program.  Her acting debut was as a member of the Angel Choir in HSA’s production of Soul Nativity.  In Bad Seed, Ariyanna’s  portrayal of the young, manipulating murderess, Rhoda, was very strong and belied her acting experience.  You’ll surely see more of this upcoming actor.

Making his directing debut in Sorry Wrong Number, is 17-year-old Josiah Fluker-McInnis, a junior at West Orange High School in New Jersey.  He is studying Musical Theater.  Josiah did a superb job in his directing debut.

The mission of HSA is to enrich the lives of young people and their families through world-class training in and exposure to the arts by offering its students the freedom to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that emphasizes rigorous training, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives.

To see for yourself the craftsmanship of these young actors and directors, attend a performance at the Harlem School of the Arts, The Herb Alpert Center, 645 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY10030; www.HSANYC.org.

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