By Samuel D. Hunter
An estranged daughter, an ex-wife, a lost Mormon Elder, and a mourning sister orbit the life of a 600-pound recluse as he eats his way to his grave over the death of his boyfriend. Charlie knows he’s going to die, but he has a few loose stings to tie up first, along with some fences to mend. He needs answers. He needs assurances. He needs just one bit of honesty.
Charlie's caretaker, Liz, has been trying to get him to see a doctor. To no avail. Elder Thomas wants to spread the good word of Jesus Christ, as written right here in America, and may have a clue as to what happened to Charlie's boyfriend at the Mormon Church out by the U-Haul. Ellie, Charlie's daughter, is a holy terror...but may be the most genuine person Charlie has ever known. Mary, Charlie's ex-wife, has been drinking. A lot.
What exactly does it mean to be an obese, gay, godless man in a thin, straight, Mormon world? Perhaps Herman Melville knows, but Charlie will do his best to find out with what time he has left.
The Whale runs Thurs-Sat, Feb. 20-March 15, 2014. 8PM.
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St.
Tickets are "Pick Your Price" $15-$30 ($10-$30 Thursdays.) On sale December 15.
Directed by Melissa Livingston-Weaver
MEET THE CAST!
Erin Barlow (LIZ) is happy to be working with A Chick & A Dude for the first time. Other Austin credits include It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Penfold Theatre Company), Mad Beat Hip & Gone and Harvey (ZACH Theatre), I.C.U (FronteraFest), The Cataract and Chronicles of Badass Women (UT Austin – Guest Artist). While in Chicago, she worked with LiveWireChicago Theatre, The Hypocrites, and Red Tape Theatre. She earned her B.A. in Drama from the University of Arkansas. Look for Erin this spring in Underbelly Theatre’s Church of the Passionate Cat.
Jon Cook (ELDER THOMAS) is incredibly excited to be working with such a talented cast and crew for his a chick & a dude premier. Recent onstage credits include ZACH Theatre's 2013 premier production of Steven Dietz's Mad, Beat, Hip, and Gone (Rich), Hyde Park Theatre's Tigers Be Still (Zack) and The Aliens (Evan), the latter of which earned him B. Iden Payne and Critic's Table nominations for best actor in a drama. In 2012 Jon played the leading role in the short film Ol' Daddy (Terry), which won gold in the narrative category at the Student Academy Awards. Some highlights while at UT include Steven Mould's premier production of Emergency Prom (Billy), Kyle John Schmidt's Blue Point (Lance), and There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom (Bradley Chalkers), for which he received a B. Iden Payne nomination for Best Performer for Youth Theatre in 2010. He is a performing artist for the Paramount Story Wranglers, a current student-intern at Coldtowne Theatre, and a 2012 graduate from UT's undergraduate Theatre program.
Elizabeth Mason (MARY) is pleased to be returning to the stage after a long hiatus from theater. Her previous credits include Agnes in Bedlam Faction’s Reefer Madness (B. Iden Payne nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy), the Player Queen in Austin Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet, and various characters in Wayne Allen Brenner’s Double Exposure, Waiting on Godot, and Screwed into the Book of Love. Her recent film credits include Alvaro Torres Crespos’ Small Paranoid Machines and Evan Roberts’ 33 Teeth. This fall she had the pleasure of performing original poetry, fiction, and songs with regular collaborators Wayne Allen Brenner and David Jewell in Two Night Trio. She would like to thank Melissa Livingston-Weaver and Shanon Weaver for the opportunity to come back and play at Hyde Park Theatre.
Kayla Newman (ELLIE) was born and raised in Austin. She received her bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. Kayla is also a company member of Hyde Park Theatre. Both of her affiliations have introduced her to many fabulous people and productions, all of which she is very grateful for. Her previous angsty teen role includes “CB’s Sister” in DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD (Hyde Park Theatre, 2008). Until THE WHALE opens, you can see her in Poison Apple Initiatives’ WE WERE NOTHING!, December 11-14 and 18-21, and in FronteraFest on January 14th.
Shanon Weaver (CHARLIE) is a Co-Artistic Director/Resident Playwright at A Chick & A Dude Productions. Recent stage credits include Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder (Texas Performing Arts/UT Theatre & Dance,) Asher in HIT., and Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross, both with A Chick & A Dude. His plays have been read, workshopped and/or produced with A Chick & A Dude, Hyde Park Theatre, University of Texas Bridge Festival, NYC Fringe, and NYC's Theatre East. He is a graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, and is currently pursuing a BA in Theatre & Dance (Playwriting Focus) at the University of Texas. He'd like to thanks his cast, crew, wife, son, and dog--without whom none of this is possible (all of them, not just the dog.)