Sunday, August 30, 2015

'COMES A FAERY' TO PLAY ON CHRISTOPHER STREET

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OFF BROADWAY
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Meghan St. Thomas And Josh Mercantel



NEW YORK -- Audience members must decide for themselves if a sinister Irish fairy is real or simply a scary manifestation of a lonely girl's psychology in "Comes a Faery," the newest play by James McLindon, which will be presented by Nylon Fusion Theatre Company from October 1 to 24, directed by Shaun Peknic.



In this fantasy-drama, a suggestible and precocious eight year old girl named Siobhan has been forced to live with her unmarried aunt because her single mother, a truck mechanic in the Army, has been called up to active duty. While the aunt, a twenty something saddled with unexpected obligations, cultivates a love affair with an understanding young artist, Siobhan immerses herself in a book about Irish folklore. Her solitary hours are spent conjuring an eerie friend named Seaneen, a peevish 8000 year old Irish fairy. It's not certain if this playmate is imaginary or real, but it's certain that the imp is coaching the girl to manipulate with troubling behavior so her mother will have to return.



As her aunt struggles with her responsibility for the child and her boyfriend finds an occasional crack in the girl's emotional armor for closeness, Siobhan's behavior deteriorates. She is referred to a pediatrician who tries to help her interpret her feelings. This gifted and sympathetic doctor fights to a standoff with the girl's impulses, which are being manipulated by Seaneen, who is lurking constantly in the background. Ultimately, Seaneen lures her to the doorstep of The Fairy Fort, a point of no return where she must choose on a knife's edge between promises of immortality and the harsh circumstances of her temporal life.



Throughout the play, what's revealed is the magical thinking of children in uncertain circumstances and how families are forced to deal with losses, crises and their lack of control over the world.



Author James McLindon explains that his impulse to write the play came partly out of his readings in Irish folklore (he's fourth generation American) and articles in The New York Times about the problems of American single mothers being deployed overseas in military service. He says, "There is very little in place to help them deal with their children. It's another example of how we don't particularly value our children, whose welfare is left to improvisation by all concerned." The pediatrician character is partly based on the experiences of his wife, a doctor who has been called upon as a counselor of last resort in such cases, causing McLindon to vicariously see the system at work and sometimes not working.




McLindon is deliberately unclear whether the character of Seaneen is a real Irish fairy or a manifestation of the child's psychology and stress. He says, "That's a challenge for the audience: an enigma. There is no firm right answer. Plays with unanswered questions are more interesting."



"Comes a Faery" was developed at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (with Sean Daniels directing) and was a finalist for the Humana Festivals.



Playwright James McLindon has been a member since 2012 of Nylon Fusion Theatre Company, which has produced his new one acts "The Wilderness," "Japanese Schoolgirl Night," "Last Call," "Perspective," "Sweetheart Rolland" (based on a Grimm's fairy tale) and a reading of "Comes a Faery." His play "Salvation" will be produced this fall by Nuance Theatre and the John Sotelle Studio in NYC. Another play, "Faith," will premiere in November at Local Theater Company in Boulder, CO, directed by Pesha Rudnick. His other plays include "Dead and Buried" (semifinalist for the 2011 O'Neill, produced 2012 at the Detroit Rep), "Distant Music" (six productions including Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre in Omaha), "Dusk and A Brief History of Penguins" and "Promiscuity" (Grove Theatre Center, LA). His plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Lark Play Development Center, Samuel French Ten-Minute Play Festival, CAP21, Emerging Artists Theatre, Love Creek Productions, PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Prop Thtr, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Colony Theatre, Theatricum Botanicum, Circus Theatricals, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference Telluride Playwrights Festival, and Arkansas Rep. They have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith and Krause, Original Works Publishing (Dusk) and Level 4 Press.



Director Shaun Peknic specializes in the development of new plays and musicals. He is Associate Director of "Once the Musical" (Broadway, National Tour, West End, Toronto). Select credits include "A Snowfall in Berlin" by Don Nigro (Nylon Fusion Theatre Company), "Must Be The Music" (ArsNova), "Chaser" (New York Fringe Festival) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (NYU). He is an alumnus of NYU and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and teaches directing at NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School. He is Irish on his father's side; on his mother's side, he's Czech.



Meghan St. Thomas plays the girl (a young adult playing a child). Josh Mercantel plays the leprechaun, Lori Kee plays the pediatrician, Michaela Reggio plays the Aunt and Ben Miller plays the Aunt's artist boyfriend.



Costume design is by Debbi Hobson. Lighting design is by Wilburn Bonnell. Set design is by Kyu Shin. Sound design is by Andy Evan Cohen.



Nylon Fusion Theatre Company, led by Artistic Director Ivette Dumeng, is committed to giving voice and perspective to established and emerging artists, favoring plays that explore and advance political, social and cultural awareness. The troupe was recently named one of "Eight Young and Mighty Theatre Companies in New York City” by Backstage in July, 2015 and is currently nominated for two 2015 New York Innovative Theatre Awards. It has produced 15 full length plays and 15 one act festivals, as well as readings and salons. Its company of over 30 artists includes as advisory board members the playwrights John Patrick Shanley and Paul Haggis.



From October 1 to 25, 2015 the company will be producing its first season of plays at New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street, offering two world premieres. "Comes a Faery" will be presented alongside "Half Moon Bay" by John Jiler on an alternating schedule.



ACCOMPANYING PRODUCTION: "HALF MOON BAY" BY JOHN JILER



Nylon Fusion Theatre Company will present "Comes a Faerie" in a rotating schedule with "Half Moon Bay" by John Jiler, directed by Margaret Perry, the story of a Manhattan architect whose sudden addiction to a mysterious waitress sabotages his marriage and his career. More info and schedule: www.jsnyc.com Ticket package: both shows $30, available at: www.nylonfusion.org.


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