Hannah Miller let me know that she would be directing a 15-minute play called "Seed" written by Danny Kessler. She invited me to a dress rehearsal at Valencia Community College - East Campus (701 N Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Fl). The rehearsal was on the East Campus, in Building 1 on the 3rd floor in classroom 368. I was searching for the room number when I bumped into Sarah Lockhard in a clowns outfit. She guided me to the rehearsal space which was an empty classroom with some boxes, a bag of seed and some recycled paper bags.
"Seed" is an existential play about the end of the world, filled with Skittles, clowns, and fantastic performances from students Jasmine Lesser, Jennifer Hurless and local actress Sarah Lockard. Sarah stepped in when a student was unable to fill the commitment. Jasmine had been rehearsing from the start. Jasmine played the seed in bunny ears and a frilly pink dress while Jennifer played a mother earth type character. Sarah narrated the play's opening scene and later came out in a hazmat suit to clean up the stage.
This was Hannah's first experience directing. As she said, "I took on the challenge to learn a little bit about a director's perspective on text so I'd be a better playwright. I've learned a lot, I think." Hannah and Sarah talked for quite a while about Sarah's motivations and actions in the play. She had just stepped into a roll that had been established by another student actress and she hoped to put more of herself into the part yet the performance was only days away.
In this final week of rehearsals, Jane Henson passed away. Hannah works for IBEX Puppetry run by Heather Henson, Jane's Daughter. Besides Hannah's own grief, her boss's enormous grief, and the grief of everyone she works with, she had to handle the overwhelming outpouring of communication on IBEX Puppetry's behalf. To say Hannah had a lot on her plate would be an understatement, but as always, the show must go on. From my perspective seeing the run through for the first time, the play flowed effortlessly. The actual performance was during a school showcase in midday of Weds., April 10th.