By Andrew Andrews

Keaton (Federico Rodriguez) watches Alondra (Elia Monte-Brown) and Deanna (Toni Ann DeNoble) face each other on the bed in Dutch Kills Theater’s SELKIE at Wild Project. Original photo by James Cuccio.

Krista Knight’s SELKIE starts out innocently enough: a young, married couple named Deanna (Toni Ann DeNoble) and Keaton (Federico Rodriguez) move to a tropical island for “permanent spring break.”

“I want to flash my tits,” Deanna proclaims.

“There’s only two of us here,” Keaton responds.

“For now...” she replies.

Did somebody say foreshadowing?

It turns out, Deanna is “trying really hard to stay sober.”

And Keaton is trying really hard to carve out a spot in the local drug trade.

So much for innocence.

When Deanna befriends a harem of seals—or more specifically, selkies: seal women who have removed their coats to take human form for a while—Keaton gets an idea:

If the seal women will mule the drugs for him as they travel from port to port, Keaton can handle the rest.

“I made little backpacks you can strap,” Keaton explains. “They’re made out of waterproof lycra.”

But the seal women just aren’t having it.

So what do you do in such a situation?

Well, it turns out that whoever controls a selkie’s coat, controls the selkie. So Keaton steals the coat of a young seal woman named Alondra (Elia Monte-Brown), effectively holding her captive until her seal sisters accept the deal.

And then, as Deanna puts it, “Every single thing that could have gone wrong, went wrong.”

On a perfect set (Reid Thompson) that changes its setting with the draw of a curtain, and projections (Yana Birykova) that alternate between supplementing the scene and invoking a mood, the production by Dutch Kills Theater Company follows-up their five-star performance of The Providence of Neighboring Bodies last year with a disturbingly-engaging story of lust, co-dependence and just a hint of feminism.

“Men will keep us their slaves for as long as they can hold us underwater,” Alondra explains, “until we stop being able to fight back.”

And that’s exactly what Keaton does.

Enjoy a dramatic, tropical staycation this winter at The Wild Project in Alphabet City, then come back here and tell us what you thought of the production.

Your review can help others decide whether SELKIE is a worth a visit, and your ratings help us help you find future performances and other live events you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended SELKIE at Wild Project in Manhattan on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 @ 8:00pm to write this review.