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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 19:43

Foxfinder is vaguely relevant

The most depressing thing about the Foxfinder’s premise of “near future” is that it looks remarkably like somewhat distant past, as in late 1800’s A.D. past. Gloom and doom, enhanced by the haunting music (by Jesse Case) and nearly constant rain, abounds in this Midwest premiere of Dawn King’s British drama Foxfinder, directed by Margaret Knapp. A four member ensemble, clad in Amish-like clothes (costume design by Melissa Perkins) acts out a scenario in which a rural farm owned by married couple Judith (Alexandra Fisher) and Samuel Covey (David Anthony Marshall) gets visited by a 19-year-old inspector (Jack Olin) sent by the state to find out why their farm is under performing. The economy is in bad shape, and most people either work at the factory and get their food severely rationed, or live in the cities where food supply is very limited. The most fortunate citizens are farmers who have access to fresh vegetables, eggs and meat, their job being “to secure England’s food supply”. There’s complete lack of technology as well and everything is done the old-fashioned way.

Obviously, there’s a reason for human misfortunes in this joyless place, a common enemy: foxes that have supernatural powers. Right. The confused masses are brainwashed by the government to look for this Enemy to be held responsible for their problems: poor harvest, illness, death of a child, anything and everything. It’s the inspector’s job to investigate presence of such foxes on the farm, destroy them and help the farmers get back to producing, or else be sent to work at the factory. Fear is a good strategy, so everyone gets on board. There’s also resistance movement in the village represented by the neighbor (Alanna Rogers).

But doesn’t every government have “The Enemy” to point the finger at: Hitler had Jews, Russia had America, and America has terrorists, global warming, and racism?
Fortunately, in the play, the farmer eventually figures out who the real fox is. Good for him.

Foxfinder won the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award 2013, the Papatango New Writing Competition 2011 and Most Promising Playwright, Off West End awards 2012.
*Due to nudity and strong language, not recommended for all ages. Performance lasts 90 minutes without intermission.

Foxfinder is being performed at Athenaeum Theatre through November 5th. For more show information, go to http://athenaeumtheatre.org/.

 

Published in Theatre in Review

Interrobang Theatre Project launches its 2017-18 Season, exploring the urgent question “What is Truth?,” with the Midwest premiere of Dawn King's darkly comic and politically relevant British drama FOXFINDER, directed by Literary Manager Margaret Knapp. FOXFINDER will play September 28 – November 5, 2017 at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio 2), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office. The press opening is Monday, October 2 at 7:30 pm.
 
FOXFINDER will feature Alexandra Fisher, David Anthony Marshall, Jack Olin and Alanna Rogers.
 
In the not so distant future, the economy is failing, food is scarce and paranoia is in the air. Samuel and Judith Covey live in rural England, maintaining their government-controlled farm – in constant fear of losing it all. After an anonymous tip, William Bloor, a "Foxfinder," arrives to investigate a suspected contamination, threatening to uncover secrets of desire and regret that will change all of their lives forever. 
 
Comments Director Margaret Knapp, "Although it flirts with thematic elements like the examination of a police state in today's society, the effects of global warming, and religious zealotism, at it's core Foxfinder is about the battle against the forces of nature, both external and internal, and how when these forces threaten to overwhelm us, we look for someone, or something, to blame."
 
The production team for FOXFINDER includes: Eric Luchen (scenic design), Melissa Perkins (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Jesse Case (sound design), Pauline Oleksy (properties design) Georgette Verdin* (asst. director), Claire Yearman* (fight choreographer), Lindsay Bartlett (dialect coach) and Victoria Bustoz (stage manager).
 
*Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Company Member. 
 
PRODUCTION DETAILS:
 
Title: FOXFINDER
Playwright: Dawn King
Director: Literary Manager Margaret Knapp
Cast: Alexandra Fisher (Judith Covey), David Anthony Marshall (Samuel Covey), Jack Olin (William Bloor) and Alanna Rogers (Sarah Box).
 
Location: The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio 2), 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 1 at 7 pm
Press opening: Monday, October 2 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, October 5 – Sunday, November 5, 2017
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. 
Tickets: Previews: September 28: pay-what-you can, October 1: $17. Regular run: $32; Students $17 (with ID), Seniors $17. (Ticket prices include $2 Athenaeum Theatre restoration fee). 
Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.

 

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