So, I Saw A Thing: Bad Seed at Waukesha Civic Theatre
By Ryan Albrechtson
Photo Credit: Waukesha Civic Theatre
LEROY: Ask me, and I’ll say you don’t even feel sorry for what happened to that little boy.
RHODA: Why should I feel sorry? It was Claude Daigle who got drowned, not me.
Last night I sat in on the preview performance of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Bad Seed, and I gotta say, it was the perfect way to kick off the spooky festivities of Halloween.
The story surrounds Christine, a woman who is playing single parent while her husband is away with the military, and her seemingly perfect daughter, Rhoda. Rhoda is kind, and polite, and intelligent… and evil? When a young boy in her class drowns during a class field trip, it comes out pretty quickly that Rhoda was the last person seen with him. From the beginning, she seems completely unphased by the whole ordeal. As more facts are revealed, Christine really begins to question… could her child be a murderer?
I love seeing preview performances, because you know the audience is filled with the family and friends of the cast and production team. There’s an automatic built-in energy with an audience like that, and this was no exception. They were all on the edge of their seats, waiting in suspense to see what this little girl was really capable of. And she delivered! Maddie Dixon, who played the role of young Rhoda, was the perfect amount of creepy and unnerving. I sat in the very last row of the theatre and even from back there she made me uncomfortable.
The show spends a lot of time discussing the morality of children (because Christine happens to be good friends with a criminologist. Convenient, right?) The question presented is: Do people become bad or evil because of their environment? Or can you be born… a bad seed? (See what I did there? I’m a good writer.)
I was impressed when Waukesha Civic decided to do this show. While it is a classic, it is a little more off the beaten path than I’m used to seeing there. And they handled it well! I’m excited to see WCT mixing in some new stuff into their seasons. (Although - I’m always a sucker for a good Rodgers & Hammerstein, and things like that!)
Listen. Halloween is LESS. THAN. A. WEEK. AWAY. (Who stole 2019 and how do I get it back!?) If you are looking for some thrills to take full advantage of the spookiest of seasons, I recommend going over to WCT and checking this show out.
Bad Seed runs October 25-November 10 at Waukesha Civic Theatre. More information, and tickets, can be found at waukeshacivictheatre.org.