In the News

Fishing – at least for those of us who aren’t Bassmasters – often has little to do with the actual catching of fish.
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Take a classically trained English actor who has played Hamlet in over 400 performances throughout his life and is currently up for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and put him in the role of a childlike 50-year-old.
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A work of ART can be a prose poem, as illustrated by their current production, “Nice Fish”, a collaborative work of Louis Jenkins (whose conversational poems are acted out) and actor Mark Rylance (who twice delivered them in Tony-winning acceptance speeches).
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A collaboration between actor/director Mark Rylance and Minnesota poet Louis Jenkins, Nice Fish has just one stage set: out on the ice.
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“Nice Fish,” the unassumingly charming play now onstage at the American Repertory Theater, is tastefully hewn from the folksy prose poetry of Minnesota writer Louis Jenkins, whose kitchen-table ruminations about life in the upper Midwest must fit in just perfectly when he makes his periodic appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
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Snow-swept vistas often have unreal, even surreal feelings. This is enriched by the wonderful words, acting and stagecraft of Nice Fish by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins now at the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) in Cambridge.
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A wonderful, comedic reverie set at an ice-fishing camp on a frozen lake in Minnesota, making use of Louis Jenkins’ delightful prose poetry, with existential overtones lurking around every hilarious corner.
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For Rylance, 55, much of the task as adapter has been figuring out how to link the poetry together to tell a story, set on a Minnesota lake on the last day of ice-fishing season. Connections between one poem and the next might be as small as a single word, or far more substantial. That crossed-out block of text was meant as a transition.
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One of the world’s great Shakespearean actors reconnects with his youth on a frozen ice lake in his new play.
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Imagine this: It’s January in Minnesota and you’re sitting on a frozen lake. There’s a hole cut in the ice in front of you. You drop a fishing line down into the frigid water below, and wait. And shiver. And wait. It’s unlikely you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, this would make a great play.” That’s because you’re not Mark Rylance.
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