Town Players of Pittsfield announces its first fully staged production for 2017. The Whale by Samuel D Hunter is being directed by Jackie DeGiorgis and will be produced the weekends of March 17 and 24at the Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield.
The issues surrounding the characters in The Whale are anything but small – including its central character: Charlie.
Charlie weighs 600 pounds. He is a gentle but grieving giant beached on a couch in Northern Idaho. Isolated from the outside world, Charlie spends his days surrounded by empty food containers and the essays from students he teaches in on-line English classes; seeing no one but his nurse and only friend Liz.
Charlie deals with more than weight issues; issues from his past have brought him to a crisis in the present. When Charlie has a dangerous cardiac episode, a young Mormon Missionary comes to his door to redeem his life, but instead saves it. Realizing his time is limited, Charlie decides to reach out, after years of estrangement, to his troubled teenage daughter, Ellie. Charlie makes a deal to pay her for her time, if not her affections, in hopes that their connection will give her life – and his – meaning at last. After a surprise visit from his ex-wife, Mary, the man with great empathy for others may finally be able to extend that same generosity of spirit to himself.
The cast includes Mark “Monk” Schane-Lydon as Charlie; Meaghan Rogers as Liz; Dane Shiner as Elder Thomas; Sam Therrien as Ellie and Nancy Twing-Schaffer as Mary.
Donations of nonperishable food items will be collected for distribution to local food pantries at the door of each show. Shows are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more and $10 for members of Town Players of Pittsfield. To reserve tickets call Town Players’ Box Office at 413-443-9279. This show contains strong language.