“Falling” Off Broadway
When Deanna Jent debuted her highly personal original play, “Falling,” at Mustard Seed Theatre in September 2011, she never dreamed that little more than a year later she’d be watching it on an off-Broadway stage in New York City.
The play, inspired by real events in Jent’s own life, follows a family as they care for their 18-year-old son living with severe autism. It’s been described as both funny and frightening, bringing audiences into the middle of a raw and heart-wrenching reality. It received considerable local praise during its run at Mustard Seed Theatre, and was honored with a 2012 Kevin Kline Award.
The play also caught the attention of producer Terry Schnuck, who believed in the story so strongly that he decided to take it to New York. He felt a story like this —relatable and authentic—would surely resonate with a much larger audience.
Sure enough, this fall found Jent traveling to New York with Schnuck and the play’s original director, Lori Adams, to recreate the show with a new cast for an off-Broadway audience. The production opened Oct. 15 at Minetta Lane Theater to a warm welcome from New York audiences and critics. The New York Post called it a “heartfelt and nuanced family drama shot through with dark humor,” and Talkin’ Broadway wrote, “While you’re lost in the actors’ faces, don’t be surprised if you fail to notice the tears streaming down your own.”
“The entire ensemble of theater artists that came together to produce this is amazing, and their work is being duly noted!” Jent says. “On a personal level, ‘m always glad to hear from other ‘extreme parents’ who are grateful to see the complicated aspects of our lives onstage.” See Jent’s latest play, “Imaginary Jesus,” at Mustard Seed Theatre through Dec. 2. Tickets and more info at mustardseedtheatre.com.
Photo credit: courtesy of Deanna Jent