The Whale

THE WHALE THE WHALE THE WHALE THE WHALE THE WHALE

by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David R. Gammons

NOW EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 12

"SpeakEasy takes 'The Whale' to a deep place ... John Kuntz is riveting." - The Boston Globe

"Something every serious Boston theatergoer should see." - My Entertainment World

"Makes you laugh one minute and tears your heart out the next." - Boston Events Insider

Charlie has hidden himself away in his Northern Idaho apartment and is quietly eating himself to death in the wake of a personal tragedy. With his health deteriorating, Charlie makes one last desperate attempt to connect with his estranged daughter Ellie, a sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen whom he has not seen in 15 years. As Charlie embarks on his quest for redemption, he looks to his enabling caregiver Liz, ex-wife Mary, and Mormon missionary Elder Thomas for closure, meaning, and forgiveness.

 

Cast | Production Staff | Playwright


Cast

JOSEPHINE ELWOOD

JOSEPHINE ELWOOD (Ellie) is thrilled to be making her SpeakEasy debut. Recent credits include Long Ago and Far Away and The Cherry Orchard at Walking the Dog Theater. Josephine is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Acting at Emerson College. Love to Daddy and Izzy.

MAUREEN KEILLER

MAUREEN KEILLER* (Mary) SpeakEasy shows: Nine, The Little Dog Laughed, Almost, Maine, The Women (IRNE Award, best play), The Wild Party. Other credits include 33 Variations, Big River, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Elliot Norton Award and IRNE Award, Best Play), Speech and Debate (Elliot Norton Award, best play), Epic Proportions, Inspecting Carol (Lyric Stage of Boston); Oh God (Israeli Stage);Car Talk, The Musical!!! (Central Square Theatre); The Sweetest Swing in Baseball (Boston Theatre Works); A Streetcar Named Desire (New Repertory Theatre): Anne of Green Gables (Wheelock Family Theatre); Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Lyric West). Maureen is a two-time recipient of the IRNE Award for best supporting actress (for The Women and The Wild Party). Film and television credits include Olive Kitteridge (HBO series), The Makeover (Hallmark/ ABC Family), Fever Pitch, We Pedal Uphill, My Best Friend's Girl, Brotherhood (Showtime series). Maureen is a member of Actor's Equity and SAG/AFTRA. Thanks to David and Paul for this wonderful opportunity.

JOHN KUNTZ

JOHN KUNTZ* (Charlie) is very happy to return to SpeakEasy where previous productions include Jeffrey, 5th of July, Porcelain, Balm in Gilead, After School Special, The SantaLand Diaries and the premieres of his solo shows Freaks, Party Poopers, Actorz...with a "Z", and Starfuckers. John is a founding company member of The Actors Shakespeare Project where his has appeared in Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Hotel Nepenthe, Titus Andronicus, Timon of Athens, The Tempest, King John, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, The Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well, 12th Night and Richard III. Other credits include Betty's Summer Vacation and The Hotel Nepenthe (Huntington Theatre Company), The Lily's Revenge, Copenhagen, The Communist Dracula Pageant (ART), The Mystery of Irma Vep, Fully Committed, Never the Sinner, The Baltimore Waltz, Comedy of Errors (Lyric Stage), The Pillowman, Waiting for Godot, True West, The SantaLand Diaries, Scapin, Cabaret, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (New Rep), Mr. Marmalade (Company One), The Salt Girl, Infestation (Boston Playwrights Theatre), Hamlet, 12th Night, Henry V (CST), Uncle Vanya (Apollinaire), The Caretaker, Hysteria, How I Got That Story, Mere Mortals (Nora Theatre Company). John is the author of 15 full-length plays, including The Hotel Nepenthe and The Salt Girl (both directed by David Gammons). He is the recipient of three Elliot Norton Awards, two IRNE Awards, a New York International Fringe Festival Award and the Michael Kanin & Paula Vogel National Playwrighting Awards. He is on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory.

GEORGIA LYMAN

GEORGIA LYMAN* (Liz)happily returns to SpeakEasy after a hiatus of 7 years where she was last seen as Crystal Allen in The Women. She was most recently seen performing as Kerr in Chesapeake at New Rep. With her own Orfeo Group, she was seen as Molly in Love Song, and Helena Charles in Look Back in Anger. Other credits include multiple roles in John Kuntz's Hotel Nepenthe for the Actors Shakespeare Project, after life: A Ghost Story at New Rep, The Real Inspector Hound for the Publick Theater, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Clea in The Scene (Lyric Stage), and as MaraLynn Doddson in White People (New Rep Downstage). She is the recipient of multiple awards for acting, including the Best Solo Performer 2013, Best Ensemble 2011 and 2 Outstanding Fringe Productions. A core member of Orfeo Group, she co-produced the award-winning The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) as well as all four web trailers for past Orfeo Group pieces. Her film and TV credits include the upcoming film The Forger with John Travolta, The Makeover with Julia Stiles, RIPD with Kevin Bacon, 3 seasons as Cassie Giggs on Showtime's Brotherhood and a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU, as well as The Town, Bride Wars, My Best Friend's Girl, The Mulberry Tree, and The Women. She has been accumulating producing credits, most recently as the Associate Curator for the Outside the Box festival and as the events curator for Cambridge Historical Tours.

RYAN O'CONNOR

RYAN O'CONNOR (Elder Thomas) is making his SpeakEasy and professional debut. He last performed at Suffolk University as Mephistophilis in Doctor Faustus, also under the helm of director David Gammons. He would like to thank everyone involved in this production as well as his family and friends for all of their support.

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Production Staff

JEFF ADELBERG** (Lighting Design) SpeakEasy: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; Next to Normal; Red; reasons to be pretty; Nine; Body Awareness; Adding Machine: A Musical (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design); [title of show]; Blackbird; The New Century; The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig. Other recent work: The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe); The Lily's Revenge (American Repertory Theater); John Kuntz's The Hotel Nepenthe (Huntington Theatre Company's Emerging America Festival); Middletown, Medea, The Hotel Nepenthe (IRNE Award)(Actors' Shakespeare Project); Equally Divided (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Company We Keep and John Kuntz's The Salt Girl (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); Miracle on 34th Street, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre); A Soft Murder, Noises Off, Oklahoma, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Boston Conservatory); Boston's Christmas Revels since 2010. Jeff attended the University of Connecticut and teaches at Boston College. LDJeff.com

GAIL ASTRID BUCKLEY** (Costume Design) SpeakEasy designs include The Motherf**cker with the Hat, Red, Xanadu, and Adding Machine: A Musical (2010 Elliot Norton Award - Outstanding Design). Other recent designs include: Death of a Salesman (Lyric Stage); The Cunning Little Vixen (The Boston Conservatory); Spring Awakening, North Shore Fish, This is Our Youth and Driving Miss Daisy (Gloucester Stage); Something's Afoot, Miracle on 34th Street (Stoneham Theatre); Insignificance (The Nora Theatre); and A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theatre). Gail received the 2002 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Costume Design and the 2002 IRNE Award for Costume Design for Twelfth Night with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and the 2006 IRNE Award for Costume Design for her work on both Caroline, or Change and The Women for SpeakEasy Stage.

JAMES BLASZKO (Assistant Director) is thrilled to be making his SpeakEasy debut at the tail end of his undergraduate career at Emerson College. A cultural and creative hyphenate, James has directed, performed in, and composed for multiple productions in the Connecticut and Boston area. Most recently seen performing in One Man, Two Guvnors at Lyric Stage, he is now directing Cyclops: A Satyr Play under the auspices of Oberon, the second stage of the American Repertory Theatre, premiering this fall.

PAUL DAIGNEAULT (Producing Artistic Director) Since founding SpeakEasy in 1992, Paul has produced over 100 Boston Premieres. SpeakEasy directing highlights include: Xanadu; Next to Normal; Nine; Body Awareness; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer -The Opera; The New Century; Some Men; Zanna, Don't!; Parade (2008 Elliot Norton Award - Outstanding Director, Midsize Company); Almost, Maine; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance (co-production Sugan); Bat Boy: The Musical (2003 Elliot Norton Award - Outstanding Director, Small Company); Passion; A New Brain; Violet; Songs for a New World; Floyd Collins; Jeffrey; and Love! Valour! Compassion! Regional credits: Grand Hotel and Nine (The Boston Conservatory and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music); Rent, City of Angels and Sunday in the Park with George (The Boston Conservatory); and Into the Woods, Urinetown and Blue Window (Boston College). Paul is also on the faculty at The Boston Conservatory where he teaches musical theater and directing. In 2007, Paul was honored with the Boston College Arts Council's Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement. Last season Paul was again back at Boston College where he served as the 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theatre Arts. Beyond the theater Paul serves on the Boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

DAVID R. GAMMONS (Director) is a director, designer, visual artist, and theatre educator. He is thrilled to return to SpeakEasy Stage, where in previous seasons David has directed the New England premieres of The Motherf**ker with the Hat (2013 Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actress), Red (2012 Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actor), and Blackbird (2009 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress). Other recent directing credits include Chekhov's Three Sisters at Boston College; Cherry Docs, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and My Name is Rachel Corrie at The New Repertory Theatre; Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro with Brandeis Theatre Company; the world premieres of The Farm by Walt McGough and The Salt Girl by John Kuntz at Boston Playwrights' Theatre; The Winter's Tale as part of the Shakespeare Exploded Festival at the American Repertory Theatre; and Medea, The Hotel Nepenthe, The Duchess of Malfi, and Titus Andronicus (2007 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director) for Actors' Shakespeare Project. Mr. Gammons has proudly served as the Director of the Theatre Program at Concord Academy for the last fourteen years, where he teaches directing and oversees a company of young performers devoted to developing original experimental work for the stage. In 2013-14, David also serves as the Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor of Theatre Arts at Boston College. Mr. Gammons is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, and a graduate of the Directing Program of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. For more information, please visit davidrgammons.com.

PAUL MELONE (General Manager / Production Manager) has managed over 80 plays, musicals, concerts, cabarets, and special events for SpeakEasy Stage. In addition, he will direct the company's productions of Carrie the Musical (May2014); directed Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2013 Elliot Norton Award - Outstanding Director); reasons to be pretty; Adding Machine: A Musical (2010 Elliot Norton Award - Outstanding Director);The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig; The Moonlight Room; Our Lady of 121st Street; and The Shape of Things. Other local directing credits include The Apple Tree (The Boston Conservatory), Curse of the Starving Class(Apollinaire Theatre Company), and Things Beyond Our Control (Brandeis University). Paul is a graduate of Boston University's Theatre Department.

AMANDA OSTROW (Wardrobe Supervisor) SpeakEasy: In the Heights, Clybourne Park, Other Desert Cities, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Motherfu**er with the Hat and Xanadu. International Touring Credit: The Aluminum Show. Local credits: A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theater); Gross Indecency (Bad Habit Productions); Spring Awakening, North Shore Fish, This is Our Youth, Divas Cabaret, Crimes of the Heart and Carnival (Gloucester Stage Company); The Understudy, Nicholas Nickleby, Blithe Spirit, Lady Day, Groundswell, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Kiss Me, Kate, Grey Gardens, Speech & Debate, The Mystery of Irma Vep, November, Souvenir (Lyric Stage); Hairspray, The Music Man, Into the Woods, La Cage Aux Folles, Mame, Hello, Dolly! (Reagle Music Theatre); Medea, Hamlet (Actor's Shakespeare Project); Not Enough Air, The Cherry Orchard, Buried Child (Nora Theatre Company); Design For Living (The Publick Theatre). Amanda received her BA in Media Studies and Business at The University of Southern Maine and is an EMC in Stage Management.

DAVID REMEDIOS** (Sound Design) has designed sound for SpeakEasy's Kurt Vonnegut's Make Up Your Mind and The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Recent credits include A View from the Bridge (Brandeis University); Welcome to Arroyo's (Tufts University); The Other Place and Distracted (Central Square Theater); Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah and Modern Terrorism... (Contemporary American Theater Festival); These Shining Lives (Stoneham Theatre); Amadeus (New Rep); Ryan Landry's 'M' and Now or Later (Huntington Theatre Company); Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre and Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination); and The Last Will (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company). Awards: IRNE, Connecticut Critics' Circle, Elliot Norton. remediossound.com.

ALIX STRASNICK (Technical Director) is excited to be back at SpeakEasy in the role of Technical Director. Past SpeakEasy Credits Include In the Heights, Clybourne Park, and Other Desert Cities. She also served as Master Electrician for SpeakEasy's productions of Next Fall and The Divine Sister. Alix is the Assistant Technical Director at the Groton School (The Crucible, Urinetown). Other credits include Good Person, The Land (Fort Point Theatre Channel), Rock and Roll, Lend me a Tenor (Longwood Players), and She Kills Monsters (Company One).

MICHELE TEEVAN (Production Assistant): Previous SpeakEasy credits include Tribes (PA), What Lips My Lips Have Kissed (SM), Clybourne Park (PA), Other Desert Cities (PA), All About Election Eve (SM), Next to Normal (PA), Red (PA), Sorry, Wrong Number (ASM), The Divine Sister (PA) and The Blue Room (SM). Boston credits include Henry VIII (ASM) with Actors Shakespeare Project; Amadeus (PA)and Little Shop of Horrors (PA)withNew Repertory Theatre; The Nutcracker (ASM) with Northeast Youth Ballet; The Death of Tintagiles (SM) and Cruel Botany (SM) with imaginary beasts; The Fakus: A Noir (SM) with Centastage; and Romeo and Juliet (SM) with the Happy Medium Theatre Company. Michele is the Associate Production Manager at Speakeasy, the Production Manager at the Boston Opera Collaborative and is a graduate of Emerson College with her BFA in Stage and Production Management.

CRISTINA TODESCO**(Scenic Designer). Previous Speakeasy designs: Tribes, Clybourne Park, Red, The Divine Sister, Reckless, The New Century. Other theaters: Actor's Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Company One, Lyric Stage, Newrep, Olney Theater Center, ART Institute, Huntington Theatre, Orfeo Group, Harbor Stage, Chester Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Summer Play Festival, Opera Boston, Cristina received the 2008, 2011 and 2012 Eliot Norton Awards in design for her work on The Clean House (New Rep), The Aliens (Company One) and Twelfth Night (ASP). An MFA graduate of Boston University's School of Theater Arts, she lives in Dorchester and teaches at BU.

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Playwright

SAMUEL D. HUNTER (Playwright) Plays include The Whale (2013 Drama Desk Award, 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, 2013 GLAAD Media Award, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play), A Bright New Boise (2011 Obie Award for Playwriting, 2011 Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), and his newest plays, The Few, A Great Wilderness and Rest, all set to premiere in the 13/14 season. His plays have been produced by theaters such as Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Rep, Victory Gardens, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Denver Center Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, and Page 73. His work has been developed at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Seven Devils, and elsewhere. Sam is the winner of a 2012 Whiting Writers Award, the 2013 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, the 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, and the 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship. He is a member of New Dramatists, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, a Core Member of The Playwrights' Center, a member of Partial Comfort Productions, and is currently a Resident Playwright at Arena Stage. A native of northern Idaho, Sam lives in NYC. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, The Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard.

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*Member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

**Member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829

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Special Events

Pay What You Can - MAR 8 @ 4PM: $15 minimum, walk-up sales only, subject to availability.

Talkback with the Director - MAR 16: Post-show discussion with David R. Gammons, director of THE WHALE.

Out & About - MAR 14: Join the cast after the performance for a special post-show party!

Talkback with the Cast - MAR 16: Post-show discussion with the artists from THE WHALE.

David R. Gammons In the Belly of the Beast Samuel D. Hunter

 

David R. Gammons - The director of The Whale on what draws him to the play.

In the Belly of the Beast - The cast of The Whale discusses their characters in this exclusive video interview.

The Anatomy of The Whale - Playwright Samuel D. Hunter on the origins of his play.

Reviews of The Whale

Boston Globe - March 11, 2014
SpeakEasy takes 'The Whale' to a deep place

"[Actor John] Kuntz is riveting."

Read the full review online>>


My Entertainment World - March 19, 2014
Go See The Whale

"Go see this play. Do it. Buy a ticket right now ... The Whale is something every serious Boston theatergoer should see ... This is a work of real art, a play with the power to bring its audience to a state of revelation."

Read the full review online>>


New England Theatre Geek - March 18, 2014
Digging Our Graves, Hoping Someone Notices: THE WHALE

"Perhaps the best play to be staged in Boston this year."

Read the full review online>>


Joyce Kulhawik, JoycesChoices.com - March 12, 2014
Theatre: The Whale

"John Kuntz ... has taken us to the murky depths of the human condition, located the beast, and beyond that helped us uncover what makes him move-and move us."

Read the full review online>>


Boston Events Insider - March 11, 2014
'The Whale' Is A Poignant Tale of Connecting (4.5 Stars)

"Makes you laugh one minute and tears your heart out the next."

Read the full review online>>