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Onsite Theatre Company Productions



OnSite Theatre Company Will Open Newly Commissioned Family Play by
Nancy Bell at Beloved Bakery and Cultural Landmark

2203 S 39th St, St. Louis, MO 63110
July 17–19 & 24–26, 2015

All Shows SOLD OUT!

Under 2 = Free
2-15 = $12
16 and over = $20

St. Louis (June 5, 2015) — Next month, OnSite Theatre Company, St. Louis’s only dedicated site-specific theatre company, will open a newly commissioned play by Nancy Bell that invites families into the beloved SweetArt bakery and art gallery, transformed into a living folktale. The music-filled play, The Runaway Cupcake: A Play About Eating for Families Who Eat, introduces audiences of all ages to an affable Baker who has just one day to fend off an insistent Bill Collector. A modern-day Mom and Boy have a sizable order that may save the day, but a magical Cupcake is causing mischief, and a mysterious fairy-tale Girl complicates everything—perhaps for the better. Performances of The Runaway Cupcake, generously sponsored by the Fox Performing Arts Foundation, will take place July 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 7 p.m. and July 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. SweetArt is located at 2203 S 39th St, St. Louis, MO 63110. Seating will be limited. Tickets can be purchased from OnSite Theatre Company’s website

With the beautiful lilting prose of local writer/actor Nancy Bell, who is serving as playwright in residence at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis through 2016, The Runaway Cupcake is a sophisticated folktale, at once perfect for young children and enjoyably poignant for older audiences. Grounding Bell’s modern-day fairytale in the rich identity of one of St. Louis’s best-known bakeries, OnSite will serve up not only a delicious story—which explores how we value food, friendship, and community, and how we teach those values to our children—but also delicious cupcakes from the host site.

Following OnSite’s April run of Off the Record—which literally took audiences on a ride as a gubernatorial candidate’s campaign took an odd turn on a moving school bus—The Runaway Cupcake marks another first for the theater company, which performs in innovative and intimate productions in found spaces all around St. Louis. The Runaway Cupcake is OnSite’s first family-oriented show. “I think site-specific theater is an exciting way to introduce children to theater in a fresh and unconventional way,” says OnSite Artistic Director Ann Marie Mohr. “You don’t have to go a theater or sit still in a dark room; you can experience theater really anywhere. It can be in a bakery, for example, and site-specific theater is a great way to get kids involved, because it is such an intimate experience and our audiences always play a critical role.”

“We need our youth to be introduced to theater, to fall in love with theater,” Mohr continues. “It is such an important art form that allows for connection with others, with real live people. We have to continue to foster and celebrate the communal experience of theater with our young people.” Mohr adds, “Having three young children of my own is also a big impetus for wanting to create exciting, innovative theater.”

Mohr chose a bakery as a site for a show because she loves bakeries: “Like real bakeries,” she clarifies. “They are truly magical places. I wanted to produce a play some place that kids would want to go to.” She commissioned Bell, who immediately was drawn to folktales as her inspiration. “I made a point of memorizing a handful of folktales to tell my daughter and her friends when they were very young,” Bell explains. “They eventually knew them by heart, but they loved to hear them told the same way over and over again. It really is amazing how sitting down and telling kids a story immediately focuses and entrances them.”

“Two favorites were The Magic Porridge Pot and The Runaway Bun,” Bell continues. “When Ann Marie asked me to write a play in a bakery, I immediately thought of these stories and tried to think of a way of adapting them into a play. These stories are fun and action-packed and funny, but, like all folktales, deal with a serious human problem: the problem of finding enough food to eat. Like most parents, I’m happy my daughter has enough to eat, and I also want her to understand that so many others don’t, and that it’s up to us to help those people.”

Mohr brought on celebrated performer/educator/director Shanara Gabrielle, who directed OnSite’s 2013 Childcare, to direct the large multi-generational cast. Gabrielle is thrilled to be staging a show in one of the city’s “treasures.” She says, “SweetArt is an institution in St. Louis. It means delicious-healthy-artful-food, and is home to one of St. Louis’s great visual artists. It is also a meeting place for community/social activism. It sets the bar pretty high for creating a wonderful show, because it is a wonderful location.”

Chef Reine Bayoc opened SweetArt Bakeshop and Art Studio in 2008 with her husband Cbabi Bayoc, nestled in the heart of St. Louis’s Shaw Neighborhood. Its mission is to change the lives of its customers and staff for the better, not only by providing the best desserts in St. Louis, but by creating an atmosphere and community of service. SweetArt offers delicious, scratch-made, old-school treats—including gluten-free and vegan options—as well as exquisite paintings, drawings, and prints of music and life. To learn more, visit

OnSite Theatre Company’s 2015 Season is made possible in part by the huge success of its 4th Annual Trivia Night Fundraiser last February. The season is also supported by a generous grant from the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, which fosters, promotes, and encourages young people in the St. Louis region to discover and participate in the joy and wonder of live performances.

Since 2007, OnSite Theatre Company has been creating uniquely immediate and intimate theatergoing experiences. As St. Louis’s only dedicated site-specific theatre company, it is committed to producing plays in found spaces around St. Louis City and County. The majority of these plays have been new commissions. OnSite’s productions are inspired by the distinct histories and characters of the spaces in which they are performed, which have included a bowling alley, a mid-town art gallery, a professional photography studio, and even a neighborhood laundry mat. OnSite asks audiences to explore their urban and suburban landscape in daringly theatrical ways, emphasizing stories and events that reveal the relationships between people and their physical environments. OnSite embraces the challenges of performing in nontraditional settings as opportunities to examine what separates performer from spectator, and performance from everyday life.

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