Selkie

By Krista Knight. Directed by Matt Dickson.

11/30 - 12/23 at The Wild Project.  

In SELKIE, American couple Keaton and Deanna, saddled with debt and buoyed by lust-driven optimism, move abroad for a fresh start. In their attempt to reinvent themselves as enterprising expats, they’re plunged into a torrid triangle with Alondra, an alluring and mischievous Selkie (half-woman half-seal). 

Keaton’s aggression and Deanna’s complicity result in a maelstrom of perverse romance and wet revenge in this dark, funny, and saturated exploration of violence – of being trapped – and two approaches to escape. 

In Irish, Scottish, Icelandic and Scandinavian folklore, selkies are amorous, affectionate and affable beings that can be human or seal, depending on whether they’re wearing their seal coat. Whoever controls their seal coat, controls them.

Selkie is a smart and darkly funny play... Dickson’s direction complements Knight’s excellent writing;...Acting is solid throughout—Federico Rodriguez’s wide-eyed, floppy-haired youth makes the reveal of Keaton’s aggression all the more shocking, while Toni Ann DeNoble allows Deanna to be a naïve party girl without being vapid. Elia Monte-Brown’s Alondra seems, at times, otherworldly, especially when she’s first trapped on land; her eyes convey the desperation of a hostage. The voices of her selkie cousins are a delightful addition to the play. Set designer Reid Thompson and projection designer Yana Birykova do fine work establishing the spaces of the hotel, town, and beach... Overall, Selkie is a work that manages to be both funny and thought-provoking. It comments on domestic abuse, exploitation, and dumb Americans who muck around with the both the ecosystem and the local economy in foreign beach towns. Krista Knight’s dialogue and plotting are smart and finely tuned...Selkie should not be missed.
— Reviews Hub
Whenever I think of Krista Knight, radical optimism comes to mind; she brings vibrancy in full force to both her art and life. There’s a sense of playfulness to the way she approaches and even dissects the darkest of subject matters... A refreshingly high-energy rhythm, and a fearless embrace of humor. Selkie is an entertaining play even as it gives you pause and makes you go, “Oh shit!” Yana Birykova’s projections add to the production’s sleekness and seamlessly transition between moments of the surreal and naturalistic (but nevertheless highly stylized) scenes. Reid Thompson’s set is functional and effective and with Cecelia Durbin’s lighting design, this production achieves something many others might easily fail: two simultaneous scenes in separate locations are communicated effectively at once... Selkie is a fascinating play that’s been skillfully staged. The piece never becomes pedantic, but allows the messages to land as the characters discover themselves as well as their situations.
— Exeunt