Samuel D. Hunter's Haunting Off-Broadway Smash THE WHALE to Play Austin, TX Spring 2014
Samuel D. Hunter's haunting Off-Broadway smash-tragicomedy The Whale will receive its fifth production worldwide in Austin TX-Spring 2014-following successful runs at The Denver Center, Victory Gardens, South Coast Rep, and Playwrights Horizons in NYC. Austin's own A Chick & A Dude Productions will present the show at Hyde Park Theatre (511 W. 43rd St.) Thursdays through Saturdays, February 20-March 15, 2014. Curtain at 8pm. Tickets are sliding-scale "pick-your-price," $15-$30 ($10-$30 Thursdays.) Discount tickets for $10 good for any show are available to all Active Duty or retired Military, Police, Fire Department, EMS, and Medical Field employees. A portion of proceeds from Thursday shows will go to local support groups dealing with Overeating, Suicide Prevention, and more. For more information, tickets or reservations, please visit www.achickandadude.com
THE WHALE tells the story of a 600-lb. man-Charlie-as he slowly eats himself to an early grave over the death of his boyfriend, an ex-Mormon named Alan. His caretaker-Alan's sister, Liz-has been trying to get Charlie to see a doctor for years, to no avail. Charlie, an online teacher of English, is searching for answers and meaning in his life. He begins to find some with the arrival of Elder Thomas, a mysterious young Mormon on his mission, who may know what happened to Alan at the Mormon Church on the highway next to the U-Haul. Charlie also discovers a small measure of honesty with his daughter Ellie, who he hasn't seen since she was a baby, and who is a bit of a teenaged terror. Add to this Charlie's alcoholic ex-wife Mary, and we complete a cast full of damaged characters who figuratively orbit Charlie in what could very well be the last week of his life.
Award-winning Melissa Livingston-Weaver directs an all-star cast, including Erin Barlow (Mad, Beat, Hip & Gone) as Liz, Jon Cook (Mad, Beat, Hip & Gone; The Aliens) as Elder Thomas, Elizabeth Mason (Reefer Madness; Hamlet) as Mary, Kayla Newman (Dog Sees God; We Were Nothing) as Ellie, and Shanon Weaver (HIT.; Glengarry Glen Ross; Dial M for Murder) as Charlie, the Whale. The Design Team includes Michael B. Raiford on Scenic Design, Jason Amato on Lighting Design, Katy Billik-Hogge on Costume and Prop Design, and UT MFA candidate Kelly Ruiz designing and building the 600-lb. fat suit.
The Whale is the winner of the 2013 Lucile Lortel Award-Best Play, the 2013 Drama Desk Special Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre, and the 2013 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding New York Theatre. It also received nominations for the 2013 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, and the 2013 John Gassner Award for Oustanding New American Play.
Praise for The Whale:
"Vibrant and provocative...Hunter explores his material with sharp-eared skill and sensitivity." - Village Voice
" Wonderful...You feel as if you've met real people, made of flesh and blood" - New York Post
"Compelling, funny, and unexpectedly impactful...No holds barred." - Associated Press
About A Chick & A Dude Productions
Now in its eleventh year, A Chick & A Dude Productions is an award-winning Austin theatre company. The 'chick' is Co-Artistic Director Melissa Livingston-Weaver; the 'dude' is Shanon Weaver, Co-Artistic Director and Resident Playwright. Company members include Technical Director Shawn Ferrell, Art & Media Director Dan Price, Production Manager Katy Billik and Artistic Associates T. Lynn Mikeska and Gary Livingston-Weaver. For more information, visit www.achickandadude.com.
This production contains very mature themes and strong language.