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Belleville native Miles Brenton stars in world premiere of ‘The Bee Play’

Miles Brenton, a young man wearing a red shirt, smiles while seated in the St. Louis on the Air green room.
Avery Rogers
St. Louis Public Radio
Acting is not the only way Brenton takes the stage — he is also an accomplished musician, vocalist and producer.

The world premiere of “The Bee Play” by Elizabeth Savage will be on Sept. 8 at the New Jewish Theatre in St. Louis. Belleville actor Miles Brenton stars in the show as Carver Washington, a young beekeeper from the Bronx.

A digital drawing of a high rise with images of sunflowers sprouting from the top, and the title of the play spray painted in yellow on the side.
Toby DiLorenzo
New Jewish Theatre
Set in the Bronx in 2016, "The Bee Play" stars a St. Louis-based cast.

“Carver is somebody who I would be friends with,” Brenton told St. Louis on the Air. “He's born into the concrete jungle of New York, but he loves nature. He loves bees, and he takes care of some on his rooftop.”

Brenton’s character in the play is named after the historic scientist and inventor from Missouri, George Washington Carver.

The statue of Carver at the Missouri Botanical Garden helped Brenton develop his character — down to the way he stands onstage.

“He's in his famous pose where he has his hand behind his back, and he looks like he’s lecturing about something or talking about something he's very passionate about,” Brenton said about the statue. “Throughout the play I assume that [same] position a few times.”

The protagonist’s namesake is not the only parallel between the world of “The Bee Play” and our own — Washington's experience with colony collapse resembles the climate crisis we're experiencing today, including environmental injustices faced by St. Louisans.

”Living in St. Louis, we have the Westlake landfill right over there in Bridgeton. These are environmental atrocities that are pertinent to our community. And I totally understand wanting to try to help the people around you,” Brenton said. “I’m with Carver on this one … we have to take care of the place that we live in.”

Related Event
What: “The Bee Play” world premiere
When: Sept. 8-25
7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. Saturdays and 2-4 p.m. Sundays
Where: Wool Theatre (2 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, MO)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.