Ingeniously if sparely staged by Meg Taintor in and around a trough of rocky dirt and played by five women and one man in multiple roles, Fen presents a chain of unhappiness strung through four generations whose main occupations are scratching out a living and trying to tamp down longing. The central character, Val, isn't good at the latter. Torn between her young daughters and her hangdog farmhand lover, unable to find sufficient comfort in snatches of romance or religion, she comes to regard life as a lose-lose proposition and yearns for another option— which, when it comes, brings with it an eerie cacophony of other suffering. Aimee Rose Ranger is luminous yet aptly matter-of-fact in the role. And the rest of the cast, too, captures the ping-pong of sympathy and cruelty among people trying to sit on their souls and just get on with it. ^

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