The Original Bronx Beekeeper
The New Jewish Theatre is pleased to announce that Sean Flynn, an urban beekeeper and founder of Boogie Down Bronx Honey, will appear at the two performances of The Bee Play on Saturday, September 17. Flynn will have an informational table set up in the lobby where he will be sharing the tools of his trade, as well as sampling and selling his all-natural Bronx honey. He will also participate in a Q&A session following the 4pm production.
Flynn and his daughter, Alaura are taking a road trip from New York City to St. Louis specifically for the New Jewish Theatre’s performances. He was prompted to do so after discussions with The Bee Play playwright Elizabeth Savage, who came across Flynn while doing research for the play. Her fictional character, Carver Washington, also harvests and sells honey under the name “Sweet Boogie Down,” and Savage and Flynn bonded over the coincidence.
“We just do wild crazy stuff like that – that’s how we got into beekeeping,” says Flynn. “A honeybee hive is a box of zen.”
He compares the experience of beekeeping to skydiving, saying, “Once you get into the suit, that feeling of peace just washes over you,” a similar feeling to one he has experienced jumping out of a plane.
Flynn first discovered beekeeping while living in Japan and brought the art of beekeeping back with him to his home in the Bronx, which he proudly declares is the “greenest borough” in New York City. For him, keeping bees in the city is a way to help solve issues of food scarcity in the city, and he has been purchasing hives and bees to donate to inner-city community centers, churches, schools and businesses where he has also offered free beekeeping classes to all who are interested.
Flynn has just recently been able to return to his passion after receiving treatment for throat cancer, an illness that has prevented him from harvesting and selling his honey over the past year. He is happy to be getting back into it now and to share his honey and story with audiences in St. Louis.
The World Premiere of The Bee Play is playing now at the New Jewish Theatre through September 25. The show tells the story of Carver Washington, a brilliant young beekeeper from the Bronx that finds his only respite from caring for his little sister and his housebound grandmother by escaping to his oasis on his building’s roof. Rooftop visits from Devora, a kindred spirit fresh out of Yale who’s setting up a kibbutz in the neighborhood lead them to share their dreams, anxieties, and hopes during a time of colony collapse, both for bees and humans. With the city far below, they wonder together what forgiveness might look like in the 21st century.
Masks must always be worn properly covering the nose and mouth during all New Jewish Theatre productions.