Music and Movement Enliven Panych's Moby Dick at Ontario's Stratford Festival

News   Music and Movement Enliven Panych's Moby Dick at Ontario's Stratford Festival
Morris Panych's new stage production of Moby Dick, adapted from the novel by Herman Melville, opens Aug. 17 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's intimate Studio Theatre.

Previews began July 22 for a run (in repertory with other works) to Oct. 18. The Ontario festival commissioned the play, representing a commitment by the classical troupe to nurture contemporary works.

The Melville classic "is retold through music and movement" by the co-creator of the internationally acclaimed The Overcoat. The music of Debussy is used to evoke the life of the seafarer.

Moby Dick features David Ferry as Captain Ahab and Shaun Smyth as Ishmael.

According to Stratford notes, "Having signed on as a harpooner aboard the Pequod, a whaling ship commanded by the mysterious Captain Ahab, the former schoolteacher Ishmael gets more than he bargained for when Ahab, obsessed by the great white whale that took his leg, turns the voyage into a personal quest for revenge."

The Moby Dick cast also includes Matt Alfano as Tashtego, Matt Cassidy as Stubb, Stephen Cota as Doughboy, Eddie Glen as Flask, Kelly Grainger as Siren, Alison Jantzie as Siren, W. Joseph Matheson as Starbuck, Marcus Nance as Queequeg, Eric S. Robertson as Bulkington, Lynda Sing as Siren, Ryan Wilson as Archy and Shawn Wright as Father Mapple. The creative team includes Morris Panych (adapter and director), Wendy Gorling (creative associate – movement), Shaun Amyot (creative associate – choreography), Ken MacDonald (set designer), Dana Osborne (costume designer), Alan Brodie (lighting designer), Wade Staples (sound designer), Alix Dolgoy (assistant costume designer), Jason Hand (assistant lighting designer), Eric S. Robertson (dance captain), Lynda Sing (dance captain), Matt Cassidy (fight captain), Anne Murphy (stage manager), A. Naomi Duncan (assistant stage manager), Zeph Williams (assistant stage manager), Natalie Woodburn-Heron (assistant stage manager), Sarah Miller (production assistant) and Marylu Moyer (production stage manager).

Moby Dick is one of four new works premiering at Stratford during the 2008 season. Another, Shakespeare's Universe (Her Infinite Variety), also started previews July 22. There Reigns Love, devised and performed by Simon Callow, opened on July 13. Palmer Park, by Joanna McClelland Glass, opens Aug. 16.

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