A family struggles with complicated grief and a complicated wedding. 
An unexpected surprise helps to unite both.
Maggie - Female, 20s/30s, Any race / ethnicity
Micah - Male, 20s/30s, Any race / ethnicity
Andre - Male, 20s/30s, Any race / ethnicity
(JL Smith New Play Festival, PA - 2021)
“Wow, "Birdseed" is a sincerely heartfelt piece somehow encompassed into less than ten (10) pages. And that ending! It brings out such an unexpected and strong emotional response. Great work to the playwright!”
(David Lipschutz)

“A really poignant and moving play that deals with very series issues in a sensitive and light-handed way. The sibling relationship is especially touching and the weaving in of the romantic relationship and familial one is expertly handled. The ending is just perfect. A real treat of a read and a play I'd love to see performed.”
(Colette Cullen)

“My heart both broke and soared whilst reading this gorgeous piece, possibly Mabey’s best. It’s definitely his most touching play; his delineation of the siblings’ relationship is startlingly acute, as is the relationship between the two grooms. A beautiful play mixed with sadness, tears, love, and hope, and one I would love to experience live. I completely understand how it won an audience favorite award.”
(Doug DeVita)

“The tightrope one has to walk between remembering a loved one and moving on is a difficult one, and Mabey deftly guides his characters along in this brilliant short play.”
(Adam Richter)

“I felt invited into the family from the very beginning, which made me feel the joy in their quirks and the deep grief in their mourning. The ending is lovely. Well done!”
(Samantha Marchant)

“A compelling short play filled with gripping characters, funny moments, sad moments, and moments that will leave audiences talking. There were so many twists I didn't see coming...all in the span of ten minutes. John Mabey has done a wonderful job here. Bravo!”
(Ryan Kaminski)

“This short is somehow sweet, sad, touching, funny, and heartbreaking all in ten minutes. What a beautiful play. John Mabey always knocks it out of the park.”
(Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend)

“Who would have thought that a bag of birdseed plunked down at just the right moment could signify forgiveness between a man and his future husband? I can understand why John Mabey won the Audience Favorite Award during the JL Smith New Play Festival.”
(Susan Middaugh)

“I hereby join the bandwagon of praise for BIRDSEED by John Mabey. John effortlessly packs so much into a 10 minutes play that you feel you would know these three characters if you saw them on the street. Without giving anything away (especially a beautiful twist at the end), this is a family play about loss, grief and the future - and will leave you happily in tears. Cheers to Mabey!”
(D. Lee Miller)

“Mabey writes a ten minute play like a full length play filled with the complexities of life's brutal curves and adds joy too, and a rom-com arc! What a wonderful play this is! Read it and weep, and cheer!”
(Emma Goldman-Sherman)

“This intimate, three character short play says so much in a very short time. We care about these characters and what they have gone through and what they are going through. It is a "fill me up" piece with heart and tears.”
(Marj O'Neill-Butler)

“Joni Mitchell wrote, “Laughing and crying, you know, it’s the same release,” and Mabey proves that truth so beautifully in this emotionally bountiful short play. The relationships brim with love, despite the deep-seated scars, and the hopefulness at the end is so palpable it defies you outright not to smile. Mabey is such a generous writer, giving so much to both his characters and his audience. BIRDSEED is definitely a gift.”
(Robert Weibezahl)

“BIRDSEED defies the convention of the overly-focussed, simplistic short play and instead offers a rich three-way character interaction that resonates. I love the thematic tension between planning and spontaneity and how even the structure reflects that tension. Yeah, feed the birds!”
(Charles Scott Jones)

“Mabey’s short play weaves complicated characters, complex situations, and cathartic emotions into a poetic and poignant look at love and loss. With memorable roles and moving revelations, BIRDSEED soars, providing plenty of food for thought.”
(Ken Preuss)

“Wedding planning scenarios can be interesting setups for confrontations and revelations because the stakes are generally high, not just for the couple getting married but for all members of the families involved. New beginnings can spark memories of people we have lost who will be missing from the proceedings. The birdseed offers a way to honor a missing family member in a touching way, offering the prospect of new life. I could relate to Mabey’s play. It rang true on many levels.”
(Andrew Martineau)

“We all grieve in our own way and sometimes the only way to deal with it is to push it aside, pretend it's not there, and try to think of something else. But in this tight and intimate play, John Mabey shows how people who are very close in one way are miles apart in another; reconciliation, even acknowledgement, seems hard to grasp. And yet...

This play touched me on many personal levels, and I know it will to a wider audience, which is deserves so much.”
(Philip Middleton Williams)

“This ten-minute piece completely pulled me in and held me much longer than the allotted time. In fact, I am still processing it.
Beautiful and poignant.
I can't wait to read more of John's work.”
(Glen Dickson)

“Loved the sincerity and sweetness with which a number of complicated issues were unpacked in an unrushed fashion. It is funny without loosing the gravity of its thematic bent.”
(Andrew Gall)
Theatre Reset, OH - 2024

Northern Michigan University, MI - 2023

JL Smith New Play Festival, PA - 2021

JL Smith New Play Festival, 2021

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