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  • Writer's pictureBen Kemper

Fin, a new play by Hillary Flynn

Or: Beneath the waters

When wire tight, new yorky real estate agent Allegra wants what’s best for her daughter, June, the perfect SAT scores, fencing, a prestigious college, a life of sense and independence. When Allegra finds her daughter has absconded down to Florida to find her grandmother Starla, who identifies herself as a mermaid, Allegra takes her trusted intern Arjent and travels to the Aqua-rama: kitschy roadside attraction, Starla’s watery kingdom, and her own childhood home where the dark and murky waters of memory wait for her to dive back in.

While at first blush it does sound like a disney channel original movie, Fin is a in progress play by rising playwright Hillary Flynn: an exploration of memory, secrets, and the double edged sword of inheritance: that which we value to give our life purpose and that which drags us down to drown. Flynn’s writing style is so rich and moist you can hear it breathing behind the actors voice: her vocabulary rich and varied, her humor ever-present and knitted to each character and her use of metaphor astounding clear and tangible. She also has a particular talent for taking tired old warhorse plots and transforming them into something new and surprising, subverting the old tropes of “the way these things always pan out” and giving the most bubbly of dolphin moments sharks teeth, to rend at us when we least expect it. As our understanding shifts to the bright but treacherous fairyland of Aqua-rama and our allegiances sway and bend we find ourselves questioning what we would devote our lives for, what tricks we would resort to for our loved ones to be safe, and how much is the perfect measure of weirdness in our lives. I cannot wait to see Fin surface on some professional stage and see exactly how this astonishing slippery play will tickle our sides and shake our throat.

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