Already frequent partners, New York City's Foundry Theatre and playwright W. David Hancock are teaming up again, this time for a new musical based on the classic Helman Melville novel, "Moby Dick." Hancock will collaborate with composer Rinde Eckert on the project. Off-Broadway's Foundry recently netter a $10,000 NEA grant to fund the venture.
The Foundry and Hancock's last project was the acclaimed, Obie-winning The Race of the Ark Tattoo: A Play in a Flea Market, which starred Matthew Maher, and ran at the P.S. 122 gallery in Manhattan in the summer of 1998. Ark Tattoo takes place at a flea market where Mr. P. Foster sells artifacts of the deceased foster father, Mr. Homer Phinney, who used to hold a weekly flea market out of his garage in Cape Cod. The story is sparked by the random selection of items from the market. With each choice, Foster tells the story behind the object, recreated his life through the memories attached to Phinney's goods.
Hancock won an Obie Award for his previous play, Convention of Cartography. Hancock's other works include Deviant Craft, which was performed at the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage.
"Moby Dick" has been popular source material of late. Laurie Anderson recently presented an abstract theatre piece based on the book at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
-- By Robert Simonson