The Ballad of the Pale Fisherman, one of the surprise hits of the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival, is back in a fuller, more realized piece through the support of Illusion Theater's Light's Up! series. The play, based on a Celtic folk story about a fisherman who falls in love with a selkie (seal-woman), is brought to life through the vision of writer/director Isabel Nelson and newly formed theater collective Transatlantic Love Affair. The production features Anna Reichert as the selkie, Diogo Lopes as the fisherman, Derek Lee Miller as the narrator, plus Heather Bunch, Willie Gambucci, Adelin Phelps, and Allison Witham. One of Nelson's favorite books as a child was Morechai Gerstein's The Seal Mother, which tells the tale of the selkie. Though the meaning of the story has shifted for her since childhood, "it retains a deep, inexplicable personal resonance," she says. Nelson loves the magic of it, and she says that it, like all folktales, speaks to universal themes that can be quite contemporary. The ensemble contributed a tremendous amount of material to show through improvisations and exercises, with Nelson stepping in later in the processes as writer and editor. The play is in preview Thursday, February 9, and opens this Friday.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 9. Continues through Feb. 25, 2012