Shades Of Words

Weekends in St. Louis


I do admit that St. Louis may not exactly be the most happening place in the US of A, but if you keep track, there is always a bunch of stuff happening over the weekend.

One of our favorite things to do is to keep track of the University Theater circuit.  There are always student performances up, and some really good visiting actor groups.

We actually caught some great plays. One was “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller performed by the dramatics department of University of Missouri, St Louis (UMSL). Based on the Salem witch trials, this play examines the power of superstition and hysteria as it grips a town of seemingly rationale people. Most of the actors in the UMSL production were senior year students who were quite remarkable in their roles. The only problem was in the acoustics of the actual theater.

I have read the screenplay before and realize that it provides a very powerful social commentary. Even if you cant catch the play in your city , I would recommend everyone to read it.

Another performance that I happen to catch, was that of the play “Shadowlands”  presented by the Mustard Seed Theater ( isn’t that lovely name?). This play written by William Nicholsan, describes the relationship between the famous British writer, CS Lewis and Joy Gresham. This play is based on actual events.

Honestly speaking I had no expectations from it. But within the five minutes, I was hooked. Split into two acts – the first act focuses on CS Lewis bachelor life, his correspondence with Mrs. Joy Gresham and their first meeting and their marriage of convenience. The first act is bitter sweet, witty and thoroughly entertaining.  The second act focuses on Joy’s illness which brings Lewis feelings towards her into the open. It focuses on their short but loving relationship and ends at Joy’s tragic death. Throughout the play we see struggle Lewis struggle with his faith and his changing thoughts about the nature of God.

As this was a professional production, the quality of acting was quite incredible. Gary Wayne Baker, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, St. Louis University gave a very good performance in the role of Lewis.  Kelley Ryan, was delightful and charming as Joy Gresham. The supporting cast was really good too. I would definitely watch more productions by Mustard Seed theatre.


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

2 thoughts on “Weekends in St. Louis

  1. There is nothing like live theatre, is there? I am lucky enough to live close to Stratford upon Avon which means that I have a constant stream of first class Shakespeare and modern works. What I don’t get to see so often is the sort of classic theatre you have clearly have access to. Still we can’t have everything. ‘Macbeth’ for me this coming weekend.

  2. @Annie – You live in Shakespeare country – how nice is that? And I am pretty sure nothing gets more classic than Shakespeare!! Isn’t Stratford upon Avon beautiful? I have been to UK but never there – I did go to Bath which I just loved.
    I love theater. My very first exposure to it was in the 9th grade when my dad got passes to go and watch “Gaslight” in the local univ auditorium in Baroda, India ! I just loved the sets, the anticipation of what new character would come onto the stage next and how interactive it all felt ( even it really isn’t!) – and the amount of talent that is required to pull off a performance!
    Btw, I dont know if you watch Bollywood – but I would recommend watching Maqbool and Omkara – they are two Indian movies based on Macbeth and Omkara by this director Vishal Bhardwaj. I am wary of Bollywood movies myself- but these are amazing – they apply the tragic story telling to a very Indian context and create an extremely macabre but poetic result

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