Ayres-Frederick's "Afield" Reminiscent of Beckett

Bruno Kanter as Samuel, Carolyn Doyle as Miriam and Heidi Wolff as Pig in Afield

San Francisco's 20th Fringe Festival is currently presenting "Afield," a World Premiere by last year's Best of Fringe winner Linda Ayres-Frederick which features an all star cast; Carolyn Doyle as Miriam, Bruno Kanter as Samuel and Heidi Wolff as Pig and directed by Joe Weatherby (also "Best of Fringe.")

With Miriam's arrival in a desolate field of land mines, farmhand Samuel becomes hungry enough to barbecue the Pig who could save his life.  At issue here is who will survive their battle and the flood that comes to end their world.

The mood of this play is tense as Miriam, Samuel and Pig vie for survival in a no-man's land ravaged by floods and war.  This absurdist tragicomedy by Linda Ayres-Frederick calls to mind plays by Samuel Beckett.  

All three actors are outstanding in their roles.  Nervous and fretful, Miriam returns to her home, a wasteland littered with land mines. She encounters Samuel, a simple minded farm hand tending a small patch of land.  He is resigned to the precarious nature of their survival.  They might be the last humans on earth, but are not the only creatures.  Into their lives stumbles Pig, a wild boar who could prove to be a valuable ally or a great meal.  Pig is cleverly costumed by Wes Crain. This play asks what it means to be human and to find hope in a world overrun with cataclysm and despair.  

Brilliantly directed by Joe Weatherby, we find a strong bonding between Miriam and Pig. Samuel appears most of the time to be a villain.  Linda Ayres-Frederick is a talented playwright as well as a fine actress, producer, director and critic.  

The production team includes Reid McCann (Sound Design), Wes Crain (Costume Design), Anna Dal Pino (Stage Design and Props) and Sarah Selig (Stage Manager).  

The final performance of the play is Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. at the Exit Theatre (Main Stage), 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco.  Tickets are available at the door or at www.brownpapertickets.com.  

Flora Lynn Isaacson