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The Fishergirl
A Synopsis of the Action Act One Set in the early 1900s, The Fishergirl opens at sunset, with fishermen and lumberjacks celebrating the safe conclusion of another workday doing honest work, valuing their traditional ways, and appreciating the beauty of their coastline village of Castine, Maine. The following morning, a father and daughter, William and Dannie Trescott, discuss the future. The days that follow bring many changes: their rescue of two “rusticators,” Secretary of Commerce Charles Dandridge and his young friend, Kieran Stillwell; the mystery of a tampered lighthouse beacon; the tragic death of William as he performs a heroic maritime rescue; and Charles Dandridge’s offer for Dannie to join his family: his wife Mary and children Merritt and Emma. As Dannie packs up her meager belongings to join her new family, she finds a letter that reveals secrets of her deceased grandmère and namesake, Danielle Déchambeau. Act Two At the Dandridge’s ball, guests shun Kieran and his Spanish business partner, Carlos. Dannie and Emma smooth things over by dancing with Kieran and Carlos. That night, Dannie dreams romantically of Kieran. Merritt, bruised and intoxicated, wakes her and accuses Kieran of beating him. Afterwards, she dreams of Kieran, but this time he seems violent and menacing. When the Dandridge family hosts Dr. Louis De Lille, a black New Orleans attorney, their conversation reveals that their grandmothers had been friends, and that descendents of both families still live in New Orleans. The next day, as Dannie takes a bicycle ride to ponder recent events, Emma sneaks off with Carlos. With Merritt lurking nearby, Dannie’s bicycle breaks and Kieran rushes to her assistance. Kieran’s harsh but well-intentioned comments lead to an argument despite their growing attraction for one another. Act Three En route to New Orleans, the Dandridge family is in one train car, and Carlos and Kieran in another. They daydream about their expectations of New Orleans. Once in New Orleans, Merritt, Emma, and Dannie leave the Saint Charles Hotel separately. Emma has a romantic rendezvous with Carlos. Dannie searches for Emma. A thug attacks Dannie and, to her surprise, Carlos protects her. When Gabriel Déchambeau, an avaricious and unethical distant relative of Dannie’s, recognizes Merritt sabotaging a streetcar’s brakes, he uses the knowledge to force Merritt to help kidnap Dannie. After being kidnapped, Dannie overhears Gabriel tell his son, Adrian, that “Kieran Stillwell” assisted them. Horrified, Dannie vows to save herself. When Dannie flees, she runs into Merritt. Adrian catches them, knocks Merritt unconscious, and holds Dannie at gunpoint. Kieran appears and disarms Adrian. Dannie grabs the gun and trains it on both men. Finally trusting her heart, Dannie believes Kieran. After securing Adrian, Kieran leaves to pursue Gabriel. Merritt regains consciousness and confesses his lies against Kieran. Ultimately, everyone converges and Gabriel, Adrian, and their henchmen are taken into custody. By trusting her own heart, and those who love her, Dannie escapes a murky fog of lies, mental illness, and greed to find truth, love, and family. The central characters recognize that, in helping her, they too have more hopeful futures, as they watch the rising sun together. v

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