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‘Seeds of Change’ has charm baked in

Wed., May 15, 2013

Interplayers’ closes its season with “Seeds of Change,” a funny new play by Spokane college professor and poet Craig Rickett. While the script is in progress, it features characters and situations that are relatable to many.

Joy (Kathie Doyle-Lipe), Faith (Maria Caprile) and Chastity (Mary Starkey) are three religious, middle-aged spinster sisters who run a mission that is in danger of closing. As they say in the play, they have joy, faith and chastity, but no hope.

Doyle-Lipe is hilarious as the forgetful sibling who rails on people for smoking and wearing eye shadow. The irony is she is the one who unwittingly grows marijuana in the retirement apartment she shares with her sisters.

Caprile plays Faith, who strikes up a romance with the neighbor (Ron Ford) and explores her sexuality. Her giddiness when she falls in love is infectious, and she plays the character with genuine warmth and likeability.

Starkey portrays the uptight Chastity, who tries to keep her family and mission running. She loosens up a bit in the second act, thanks to some brownies with a special ingredient, with humorous effect.

Rounding out the cast are Patrick Treadway as ex-con and mission cook, Reggie. He’s a bit rough around the edges, and the sisters don’t appreciate his swearing. The character could be seedier. Maxim Chumov makes his Interplayers debut as Levi, the Boy Scout who helps the sisters save the mission.

“Seeds of Change” alternates between scenes of situation comedy and farce. Director Michael Weaver brings out the show’s wit and adds a few comic bits, some of which work better than others. The scene where the characters attempt to cover up marijuana plants to prevent them from being discovered by the police is riotous and well choreographed, as is the scene where Faith accidentally bares her lingeried self to the Boy Scout.

The love story between Faith and the neighbor, a retired cop, is the most developed plot line in the play. Faith’s change from being a sheltered Nazarene minster’s daughter to a lover is the most evident. The other two sisters’ arcs, however, seem to be static.

Scriptwise, Rickett’s dialogue still needs some tightening and sharpening, as some material is repeated throughout the play, becoming redundant for the audience. And as soon as we discover that the plants senile Joy are growing are illegal marijuana, we know that someone in the play is going to sell pot to save the mission, but that doesn’t happen until the second act and is over before that thread is fleshed out.

Developing a new play is a fluid process, and Interplayers has presented “Seeds of Change” wholeheartedly. It will be interesting to see where the play goes from here and the next incarnation from our homegrown talent.

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