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April 21, 2022 | Theatre, What Did You Think?,

Let’s Talk About Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower based on the classic sci-fi novel by Octavia E. Butler makes it’s long awaited return to Boston! Written by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, Parable chronicles the spiritual awakening of Lauren Olamina amidst an America plagued by the products of unrelenting greed, systemic injustice and climate change denial.

Join the conversation and let us know what you thought about the production! Comment below, either by following one of the prompts below or with whatever crosses your mind. We can’t wait to hear from you!

  • How would you describe this experience to a friend?
  • What are systems we can reimagine to help each other survive?
  • What is something you wish to touch and change?
  • And, what questions do you have?

Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, or reach out on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram; and be sure to tag @ArtsEmerson too! Be sure to check back here for more reviews from press and other audience members.

5 responses to “Let’s Talk About Parable of the Sower”

  1. Pam says:

    Sound was not adequate. Often I could not grasp the words to the songs. As the songs move the plot this was quite disconcerting. Others mentioned this when exiting. Operas often portray the lyrics and this would have been most helpful.
    The music was wonderful. Ending with Parable sung as a round was delightful and powerful. Loved the folk song. Toshi is a treasure.

  2. Catherine Caldwell-Harris says:

    Hi. Because the play is based on a book, I assumed it would be a drama. I was not expecting 2 hours of songs. I’m wondering if I should have read the book first, because then I could set aside my need for narrative and enjoy an artists’ musical exploration of those important themes.The songs were magnificent and illuminating. Just, I spent quite a bit of time wondering when the “opening songs” would cease and plot and dramatic events would ensue.

    Setting aside my confusion, I was riveted by Toshi Reagon’s “Don’t go to Olivar”. The melody was catchy and it was great that Toshi encouraged the audience to sing. But I enjoyed the power of the mini-story in this song. It brought to mind the future dystopian movie “Sorry to bother you” where people accept a sleep/work deal in hope of a better life, not realizing they have sold themselves into indentured servitude

  3. Akunna Eneh says:

    What a genius performance of beautifully made music! The music was emotionally intense (as is the original novel), and I think helps to emphasize the relevance of Octavia Butler’s words for us now and have been since the book was written.

    I went to the performance with someone who had not read the book, and for them, the play was confusing. I think the confusion was compounded by the fact that it was often hard to hear the characters fully, as another commenter mentioned. The mic would cut out or maybe not pick up the voice if the performer moved their head in a certain way.

    Thank you!

  4. Kate says:

    I feel happy and privileged to be able to see this production of “Parable.” Wonderful music, wonderful voices, powerful message. However, I was non-plussed that the sound in the mezzanine was muddy from the start. Especially considering the price of the tickets and the considerable effort I put in to attending. Neither I nor my friends could understand many of the words of the songs, particularly in the first portion of the play before the community was forced out of their home. I found myself turning to the wonderful sign language interpreters even though I don’t understand ASL.

  5. Deborah Katz says:

    I found the evening spelibinding. So many stunning voices — soft and silky, deep and powerful, and everything in between — singing beautiful harmonies. I have read the book and had difficulty tracking the ‘plot’ but didn’t really care as the performance was so beautiful and compellingD. I sent an email recommending the play to others and advised, if you aren’t following a narrative, don’t try too hard. Just enjoy the sounds and feeling that pour in.

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