The statistics concerning autism are staggering. Studies estimate that one in every 110 children will be diagnosed with the disorder, and that the prevalence rate increases by 10 to 17 percent each year. Yet, as sobering as these figures are, they fail to get at the heart of raising and loving a child with autism. After the diagnosis, new challenges (and victories) enter the family dynamic. Parenting a child with autism requires patience, strength, humor and the ability to face the unknown. In the new play Falling, Mustard Seed Theatre brings these issues to vibrant life. Mustard Seed's artistic director, Deanna Jent, wrote the play and drew from her experiences as the mother of a son with autism. Lori Adams directs the fantastic cast (including Michelle Hand and Jonathan Foster), and a discussion follows each show. Falling is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday (September 1 through 24) at the Black Box Theatre at Fontbonne University (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-719-8060 or www.mustardseedtheatre.com). Tickets are $20 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 1. Continues through Sept. 24, 2011