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Excavating the Truth

November 23, 2022

By TJ Lewis and Becca Jennings

All Susan and Martin Merrit ever wanted was to have a child of their own. But no stork, or birds or bees for that matter, ever delivered. So, the Merrits turned to science.

Cue Becca Connor, a quick-witted, savvy college student who is looking for some extra money to help get her through school. Surrogacy seems like a fairly straightforward way to earn some big bucks fast….nine months fast.

But when Becca is found dead, a murder investigation upends the lives of everyone who knew the promising young woman.

It was FST’s Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins who first imagined a new play that could tackle such large and complex topics as surrogacy in a highly personal way. “I asked Mark to write a play about the issues we don’t see on the American stage,” said FST Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins of his friend and favorite contemporary playwright, Mark St. Germain. “Not political issues, but human issues.”

And so, Wednesday’s Child was born – in concept, anyway.

But like children, some plays are not always so easily conceived. “I’ve never worked on a mystery before,” St. Germain admitted. “I was naïve to think that, like other plays, I could jump in without any kind of outline and rely on the play to reveal itself.” St. Germain shook his head, “Not with a mystery. They have to be carefully built, like a puzzle.”

Unearthing the story was not easy. In fact, St. Germain has drafted this mystery so many times in so many different ways over the course of the play’s development, that each character has, at one time or another, been cast as Becca’s killer. “At many points I was ready to put it back in the drawer,” said St. Germain.

After two years in development, at least six play readings, and with faith and support from FST’s artistic staff, audiences, and new Playwrights Collective, St. Germain was able to find his story’s final form and true culprit.

Now, FST is proud to present the World Premiere of Wednesday’s Child by Mark St. Germain as part of its 45th Mainstage Season and Sarasota Festival of New Plays.

While the normal gestation, or pregnancy, period in humans is typically 38-40 weeks, St. Germain has spent the better part of two full years carrying his baby–this fresh new play–to full term. Wednesday’s Child explores the intricacies of the human experience from conception to death, only to find the most complex aspect of the human experience: the heart.