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Tanya Seale

Tanya Seale

Tanya Seale (she/her) is a member critic of The St. Louis Theatre Circle. In addition to theatre reviews, she writes plays and fiction, and is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Dramatists Guild of America, National New Play Network, Playwrights' Center, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Theatre Communications Group. Tanya studied at The Dramatists Guild Institute, graduated with a BA in English with minors in Theatre and Scriptwriting from Webster University, earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Goddard College, and is currently earning an MFA in Arts Management & Leadership at Webster University. You can learn more about Tanya at



BWW Review: ANNAPURNA Unpacks Baggage to Tidy Old Messes
February 17, 2020

There are defining moments in every life that change a person's entire trajectory. Sometimes we recognize them as such. Other times, we never recognize them at all, or maybe worse, we recognize them too late. Annapurna, a tender but unsettling 2013 two-hander play by Sharr White asks, among other questions, what might have been had...

BWW Review: DRESS THE PART Is Super Fresh Hip Hop Musical “Ad-rap-tation” of Two Gentlemen of Verona
February 14, 2020

St. Louis is so lucky to have a Shakespeare Festival, yes? Aren't we also lucky to live in a city where an energetic audience comes out on a weeknight in the middle of an icy February to pack a house and watch characters originally created some 430+ years ago take their shots at first love? Teens and grandparents and everyone in between have been gathering at The Ready Room in The Grove to go back to high school at Verona College Prep, where...

BWW Review: BURIED CHILD Digs Up the Past and Positions New Community Theatre For Bright Future
February 5, 2020

Jordan Matt-Zeitler says he and Richard Matt-Zeitler packed up two years ago after ten years running Open House Theatre in Athens, IL to start Myriad Productions in St. Louis. They wanted to design a company that could produce new work as well as shows that aren't produced very often. a?oeA myriad of shows,a?? Jordan says when describing the company's vision. a?oeOne of our core tenets,a?? he adds, a?oeis that we will not...

BWW Review: FLANAGAN'S WAKE Invites Participation, Improvs Your Stories, and Pays Respects to Everyone's Favorite Cousin
February 3, 2020

Flanagan has passed. It was terrible how he went. It was terrible that he went. But here you are in the pub with the others to hear the reading of the will and to mourn his passing at a traditional Irish Catholic wake. Not Irish? Or Catholic? Not a problem. Grab a name tag in the lobby before you enter (you'll get a fittingly new name) and a stiff drink or two (now you're set!) and hurry on inside, because you won't want to miss a thing. Flanagan's Wake: The Hilarious Interactive Irish Wake kicks off with a pre-show show that sets the tone where, among other happenings...

BWW Review: MY NAME IS ASHER LEV Paints Stirring Picture of the Complexities Between Art and Faith
January 31, 2020

My Name is Asher Lev is a play written by Aaron Posner and directed by Aaron Sparks, adapted from the 1972 novel with the same title by Chaim Potok. It calls on its audience to imagine what it was like to be a Hasidic Jew whose artistic genius brings great conflict to his family and community in 1950s Brooklyn. It spotlights the struggle between one man's faith and obedience to family and his blasphemous...

BWW Review: THE THANKSGIVING PLAY Serves Up Delicious Satire
January 20, 2020

If there was ever room on a plate for a heaping helping of delectable holiday conflict, it's inside a classroom where heartfelt high school drama teacher and teaching artist Logan (Shayna Blass) sets out with three well-intentioned white allies to write and produce a a?oefully-devised educational playa?? for elementary students that celebrates both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. Having been granted funds from multiple organizations, Logan, an intellectual who is serious about political correctness and whose professional credits include a production of The Iceman Cometh for 15-year-olds(!), aims to create a respectful and historically accurate drama without...

SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL Opens at The Fox - I'd Love to Love You, Baby
January 17, 2020

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical opens with a swell of music and a chorus full of sequined, big-haired glittered-up dancers who sure can sing. The costumes are dazzling. The strobe lights are electrifying. Everything is loud and large and pulsing and promising. a?oeYou like that modest opening?a?? Diva Donna (Dan'yelle Williamson, one of the three actors who plays Donna) asks the audience outright. a?oeWe just threw it together.a?? It's funny of course, because this is a big production, and nothing is farther from the truth. However...

BWW Review: FEEDING BEATRICE World Premiere at The Rep Is a Gothic Horror Version of The American Dream
November 3, 2019

What you'll find at the end of a long, foggy hall with ominous flickering lights is the home of Lurie and June Walker. Come on in when you get here. Walk across the creaky kitchen floor and take a seat in one of the old wooden chairs along the walls. Don't mind the noises. Don't worry about those sharp flashes of light. You're safe. You're in a a?oegooda??...

BWW Review: CRY-BABY is a Rockin' Fun Look at Privilege and Classism
October 13, 2019

New Line Theatre, whose tagline is fittingly #MusicalTheatreAF, opens their 29th season with Cry-Baby, the 2007 musical with book by Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan and songs by David Javerbaum & Adam Schlesinger. It is based on Cry-Baby the film, written and directed by Hairspray creator, John Waters. Let me just pause here and say if you have only ever seen the film, you're missing out, as the musical has a much more cohesive, developed...

BWW Review: The Muny's MATILDA is Magically Mary
August 7, 2019

Mary Engelbreit, that is. Roald Dahl's Matilda, playing now through August 11 at The Muny in Forest Park, is inspireda?'the entire productiona?'by the artwork of St. Louis' own Mary Engelbreit, and is it ever something to see! Even on first glance of the curtain, which is painted with colorful stacks of books, polka dots, and hearts on a vine, one can tell this show is going to be a special kind of Muny magic. And sure enough, that inspiration...

BWW Review: ASSISTED LIVING: THE MUSICAL Makes Retirement Look Fun
August 4, 2019

Assisted Living: The Musical, written and performed by comedy duo Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett, and accompanied by pianist Jeremy Franklin Goodman, is a hilarious little 75-minute distraction from life's real aches and pains, playing now at The Playhouse at Westport Plaza. The vaudeville-style musical revue is set in the present day at Pelican Roost, a senior living community, where eighteen colorful characters take turns giving the real scoop on life after a person's AARP membership starts. The story (what loose story there is) is framed...

BWW Review: Lerner & Loewe's PAINT YOUR WAGON Is Pure Gold
July 28, 2019

Few people seem to be familiar with Lerner & Loewe's Paint Your Wagon. Those who are usually mention the 1969 film of the same title, starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, known for being a ridiculously miscast and embarrassingly terrible flop. The musical, which originally appeared on Broadway in 1951, is similarly messy, and has gone pretty much unproduced for decades. Fortunately, however, playwright Jon Marans has redrafted the book, top-to-bottom, enhancing both the story line and its characters, and the result is a shiny-new masterpiece with new orchestrations and new dance and vocal arrangements. It is now an entirely enjoyable musical, complex in its structure, with an interesting setting, compelling plot, nuanced layers, appropriate social commentary, and characters...

BWW Review: CHICAGO (HSE) Brings the Heat at Ignite Theatre Company
July 27, 2019

Jørgen Pedersen makes his musical directorial debut with Chicago (High School Edition) featuring the talented youth at Ignite Theatre Company, and here's something fun: it features an all-female cast! The fine performers at Ignite (whose mission involves inclusion of performers from all walks of life a?' yay!) deliver a sassy and entertaining production, and despite one's assumption that a high school edition of Chicago might be watered-down...

BWW Review: Stages St. Louis' GREASE Is the One That You Want (Oh Yes Indeed)
July 26, 2019

WOW is the word right now, as Grease, with direction and musical staging by Michael Hamilton, plays at Stages St. Louis! In this automatic, systematic, hyyyydromatic show, it's 1950s USA, and a new school year is beginning at Rydel High. A feisty Miss Lynch (Kendra Lynn Lucas) greets us as her students with the morning announcements (and theatre etiquette, too a?" thank you Miss Lynch), using a training clicker to keep us in check lest we get too rowdy. She knows her students, after all. Moving into the musical, we encounter Sandy Dumbrowski (Summerisa Bell Stevens) and Danny Zuko (Sam Harvey), who met at the beach over summer break and had a sweet little romance. Both will be attending Rydel for their senior year, unbeknownst to one other, so that makes for a scrumptiously awkward...

BWW Review: FOOTLOOSE at The Muny is a Timeless Smash Hit
July 20, 2019

Sunday shoes are being kicked off right and left in Footloose at The Muny right now, as Christian Borle, the two-time Tony Award winner who has been in 11 Broadway shows, makes his musical theatre directing debut. In this four-time Tony Award-nominated adaptation of the 1984 movie by the same title, you'll find actors of all shapes and colors (insert heart-eye emojis for days!) who fill the stage again and again with dynamic dancing to songs...

BWW Review: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Is Wild Deviation from Expectation
July 11, 2019

The Muny's current production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella is definitely not Walt Disney's Cinderella. It is nothing like Perrault's or the Grimm Brothers' Cinderella. It's not even pure Rodgers & Hammerstein, but rather a 2013 adaptation based on Rodgers & Hammerstein with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. This musical holds the essence of your beloved fairytale but is infused (I must warn you upfront) with complicating new characters, a clumsy reordering of the original songs, and a conspicuous political subplot. Essentially, this adaptation, which tries to be everything simultaneously - old fashioned and new-fangled, traditional and progressive - is mostly just...

BWW Review: LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL Serves Up Much to Ponder With New, Fresh Work
July 7, 2019

St. Louis Actors' Studio's LaBute New Theater Festival pulls together two sets of one-acts and a staged reading of high school finalists this month in order 'to bring a fresh vision of theatre to St. Louis.' Blind, open submissions were taken from playwrights near and far, with six new, previously-unproduced professional plays and four plays by high school students making the cut. Accompanying the professional play sets is Great Negro Works of Art, a Midwestern premier by Neil LaBute directed by John Pierson, performed each night of the festival. It allows its audience to peer in on...

BWW Review: 1776 at The Muny Shows Scuffles and Snags to Independence
July 1, 2019

Three-time Tony Award-winning 1776 with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone is based on the events in Philadelphia leading up to the creation of the United States of America's Declaration of Independence, by making real people of historical giants like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. It is with drama and comedy that this dialogue-heavy musical invites us to enter the chamber of the Second Continental Congress and sit for a while with our country's forefathers as they struggle to figure out how to give birth to a new...

BWW Review: INDECENT Pays Gorgeous Homage to Love, Art
June 24, 2019

Paula Vogel's Indecent is actually about another play, Sholem Asch's 1906 play, God of Vengeance. At curtain, stage manager Lemml (TJ Lancaster) introduces the troupe, which has been waiting, frozen, in chairs along the back wall. The troupe, all who play multiple characters, is comprised of Paul Cereghino, Zoe Farmingdale, John Flack, Katie Karel, Judi Mann, and Tim Schall, along with musicians Alyssa Avery, Kris Pineda, and Jack Theiling. The year is 1906 and the characters are passionate theatre artists from Warsaw, Poland, committed to the success of Jewish-Yiddish playwright Asch's play about the daughter of a brothel owner who falls in love with one of her father's prostitutes. Controversial? Yes, but Asch dreams of seeing Jewish stories on every stage in every language in what was to be a Yiddish renaissance, and that includes creating stories based on people who might not otherwise have a voice.

BWW Review: DISNEY'S 101 DALMATIONS Barks Up the Right Tree at Stages St. Louis
June 21, 2019

It's puppies, puppies everywhere-even in the audience!-as families and young friends are brought into an interactive version of the Stages St. Louis Emerson Family Series production of Disney's 101 Dalmatians, playing now through June 30 at Robert G. Reim Theater.