Bridget Flaherty ’21
The Alternate College Theatre’s production of “The Fox” marks the first Zoom I’ve been excited for since that one night in March my friends hosted a virtual hangout before it became incredibly tedious to see your friends virtually. In my eyes, this production of “The Fox” cured my Zoom fatigue and once again made me excited to witness the opportunities made possible by technology. The production expertly adapted to the newfound platform, thus showcasing the resilience of an artist’s will to create and the newfound possibilities for theatre during a pandemic.
“The Fox” tells the story of two women who live and work on a farm. Their lives are uprooted when a seemingly innocent stranger charms his way into their home and their hearts, wreaking havoc on the relationship between the two women in the process. Henry transforms from an eager, helpful worker to a cunning intruder. The play utilizes Henry to explore the tenuous relationship between the two women and reveals cracks in the foundation that were undiscovered until then. He manipulates Nellie in order to invert the power dynamics in the house and secure some control. However, he meets a formidable foe in Eile McGinn’s Jill who sees the cunning nature hidden beneath his boyish charm. It is thrilling to watch the three actors butt heads and challenge each other despite being in three separate locations. The chemistry between the cast transcends social distancing requirements, as the tension pops through the screen.
The Zoom format works as an advantage to the production, as it allows for a surprising amount of intimacy between the actors and the audience. Furthermore, the editors and entire crew deserve recognition for their incredible work despite being faced with a difficult task. The production design is impressively consistent despite each actor filming in a different location. The uniform lighting creates an impressively coherent atmosphere that is complimented by the seamless editing.
Overall, Christine McLaughlin directed a piece that rises above the present moment and circumstance and capitalizes on the resources and the impressive cast and crew available to her. The entire cast and crew deserves recognition for their perseverance and creativity. The show is a triumph and a testament to the importance of art to soothe and unify during chaotic times.