|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.