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Mint Theater Company Presents "The Price of Thomas Scott" at the Beckett Theatre
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Mint Theater Company Presents "The Price of Thomas Scott" at the Beckett Theatre

- Backstage with the Playwrights

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Mint Theater Company
Jonathan Bank, Producing Artistic Director

The Price of Thomas Scott
(Show Web Page)

By Elizabeth Baker
Directed by Jonathan Bank

At the
Beckett Theatre
(Theatre Row Website)
410 West 42nd Street

Donald Corren, Andrew Fallaize, Emma Geer, Josh Goulding
Mitch Greenberg, Nick LaMedica, Jay Russell, Tracy Sallows
Mark Kenneth Smaltz, Ayana Workman, Arielle Yoder

Sets: Vicki R. Davis
Costumes: Hunter Kaczorowski
Lights: Christian DeAngelis
Sound & Musical Arrangements: Jane Shaw
Props: Chris Fields
Choreography: Tracy Bersley
Dialects & Dramaturgy: Amy Stoller
Production Manager: Rob Reese
Production Stage Manager: Jeff Meyers
Stage Manager: Kristi Hess
Publicity: David Gersten & Associates
Illustration: Stafano Imbert
Graphics: Hey Jude Design, Inc.
Casting: Stephanie Klapper, CSA
Advertising & Marketing: The Pekoe Group

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 9, 2019

As a longtime fan of the Mint Theater Company and its Theatre Row performances, I had high hopes for this first of a series production, a tribute to English playwright Elizabeth Baker (1876-1962). This rare, 1913 one-act play was unfortunately somewhat underdeveloped and subdued, perhaps still in progress. When it ended after 90 minutes or so, the plot was so unresolved that it appeared to lead to an intermission, rather than an exit. I was actually enjoying the dialogue and dramatic conflict and had hoped for more. Maybe in future seasons, Jonathan Bank, Producing Artistic Director and the Director of this play, will re-introduce it at another level of polish. The story, a “draper”, one who sells textiles, needs to sell his shop to support his family in the style his wife and two adult children hoped for.

Ms. Baker writes from experience, having grown up in a “devout” household, and Thomas Scott (Donald Corren), the mustachioed draper, has strict religious guidelines that constrain his beliefs and decisions. His wife, Ellen (Tracy Sallows) would like to leave London for a spacious country home, his daughter, Annie (Emma Geer) would like to study millinery design in Paris, and his son, Leonard (Nick LaMedica) would like to move forward with an upscale, refined education. Dreams of a big sale and high social status punctuate the conversation.

When Scott’s acquaintance from years past, Wicksteed of the Courtney Company (Mitch Greenberg), comes for a visit, the air in the shop’s back parlour palpably thickens with hope and relief. But, oh so clever of Ms. Baker, Wicksteed needs the space for his dance hall business, and Mr. Scott, saddled with stringent religious convictions, cannot bring himself to take the payment. Here is where the play begins to slacken, as the conversation, pregnant with opportunity, becomes dry and hollow. Or perhaps the direction needed passion practice, as Mrs. Scott, Annie, and Leonard were each so passionate in their desire. A high point was talk of an evening party for the younger characters, and I hoped it would break the monotony, but that plot detail was short-lived.

Sets by Vicki R. Davis were pleasant, but sparse, but costumes, especially lovely hats, by Hunter Kaczorowski, were eye catching. Lighting was somewhat dim, and sound was problematical, with actors not projecting. I always look forward to Mint Theater productions and eagerly await the next.

Josh Goulding, Andrew Fallaize,
Emma Geer, Ayana Workman,
Nick LaMedica in
Courtesy of Todd Cerveris

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