FringeTastic: The Average Sized Mermaid

By Erin Krebs9th Grade, The Mary Louis Academy At first, The Average Sized Mermaid seems extremely promising. A spotlight shines on a kindergarten teacher, Miriam Moselle, who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. While reading Hans Christian Andersons The Little Mermaid to her students, Miriam rants about the book’s subliminal sexist, misogynistic undertones. After all, why must it be a “little” mermaid – why can’t she be average sized? She proceeds to magically take on a physical manifestation of this tale: her very own fish tail and becomes the head of a feminist movement. The Average Sized Mermaid contains many wonderfully written monologues, ranging from comedic to thought provoking. The script uses multiple metaphors, puns and alliterations. The show poignantly redefines feminism – it is not about a hatred for men or a constant fight, but rather a respect for yourself as a woman and a willingness to pursue your goals. The playwright cleverly confines Miriam to a wheelchair, which symbolizes her facing her troubles “sitting down” and literally being unable to stand for her beliefs. However, overall I felt extremely perplexed by the plot. Miriam constantly parallels her own plight to that of The Little Mermaid, and makes her decisions based on that of Anderson’s Little Mermaid. The metaphors become extremely tedious and confusing. I found myself relating to Miriam’s friend and love interest, who found her metaphors to be annoying and preposterous. The show is supposed to be a comedy, yet most of the humor felt extremely contrived. Overall, I do believe that the empowerment of women is a worthwhile subject matter to be explored. If you are searching for a thought provoking play, you should check The Average Sized Mermaid. TICKETS