In a small coastal town in Maine, the fishing business has dried up. No one can make a living catching fish anymore, except for Peter. His brother Michael is a scientist who left home to study fish from a more objective perspective, but his brother and father Henry still live and breathe fishing. When Michael returns home to ask Peter to share his secret, he meets his new wife and lucky charm Fiona. It's obvious that Fiona is an odd duck - she likes to swim (and walk through the house) naked, and she rarely speaks except in staccato single words. She's a selkie (which I learned about from TLA's Ballad of the Pale Fisherman), that legend of a seal that turns into a woman when she sheds her skin, landed in the middle of this gritty real world. It's an interesting juxtaposition between science and fantasy, between the very real issues caused by climate change and the otherworldliness of this creature who suggests there may be other forces at work.
The realism and fantasy are both represented on stage. A realistic and rustic cabin is set on the left of the stage, but with half walls that make it look as if it was torn out of Maine and placed on stage. Between the cabin and dock on the right is a huge screen that displays images and videos of an ocean coast in daylight, fog, or sunset (set design by Dean Holzman).
|Steve Hendrickson, Bill McCallum, Jennifer Blagen, and
Paul de Cordova (photo by Lauren B. Photography)
Finding Fish is a wordy, talky play, and other reviews have said it comes off as a lecture (read my fellow Twin Cities Theater Bloggers' reviews here). Maybe that's why I enjoyed it more than other reviewers seemed to; as a math/science nerd, I like wordy talky lectures. I found the play to be thought-provoking and extremely well acted. See for yourself at Illusion Theater through October 29.