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North Shore Fish

What happens to people’s dignity when their work is no longer useful or available?” This is the question at the center of Israel Horovitz’s play North Shore Fish, opening this weekend at the Vex. Zooming in on one fish packing plant in his hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Horovitz’s Pulitzer-nominated play creates a vivid microcosm of women working on the factory line just as their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers did before them. With a new government inspector coming and business slowing, things do not look good and the women struggle with what else there is to do when they were born to be “fish people.” Beyond the doom and gloom (and potential reminders of America’s current state of affairs), North Shore Fish delivers humor in the form of its witty protagonists. The women “bicker and joke with equal ferocity.” They are not just victims, they’re multi-dimensional and “full-blooded” and they’re not going down without a fight. Dylan Brainard directs this theatrical look at work, community and identity.

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