Iron Age Theatre Company bring Orson Welles' MOBY DICK - REHEARSED the hunt for the great white whale live to the stage!
MOBY DICK - REHEARSED opens Friday, March 1, 2013 and runs through Sunday, March 24 at the Centre Theater, Norristown's professional theater at 208 DeKalb St. in downtown Norristown. Showtimes are 8:00 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online at www.ticketleap.com. Call 610-279-1013 for information or visit the web at www.ironagetheatre.org.
Free craft beer will be served at Opening Night, as well as every Saturday performance. From Pour Yorick's Brewhouse, The White Whale, an Imperial Witbier, brewed especially for this production.
Moby Dick is one of the best known American novels. It is a challenge for most people to even read due to its length, scope and language. Even movies have not been able to do justice to the epic tale. It is even harder to put on the live stage, yet that is exactly the challenge that actor/director/writer Orson Welles took on in the 1950s - to perform a stage play of Moby Dick.
Famed for his movie Citizen Kane, and his radio play War of the Worlds, Welles is considered one of the greatest American actors and directors. Welles was often ignored and criticized in the prime of his career. Today he is considered a primary influence as a director, writer and filmmaker on virtually all modern filmmakers.
MOBY DICK - REHEARSED opens in an old theater where a troupe of actors is about to begin rehearsal for Shakespeare's King Lear. A young actor brings in a playscript of Melville's Moby Dick. The actors are aghast, claiming it can't be staged, but the director of the company calls for a reading of the new script. The actors launch into Melville's epic with gusto, using props and set pieces found around the theater, they create the whaling ship the Pequod and the colorful cast of characters including Ahab, Starbuck, Queequeg, Pip and Ishmael.
As the play moves along, the actors are transformed into the people they play and sweep the audience along on the dangerous ocean voyage in search of the great white whale.
The play's Director, John Doyle, said the intense physicality of the show fits with Iron Age's muscular performance style. "The actors will be doing all the heavy lifting in this show, from transforming ordinary handles into harpoons, to creating and singing sea shanties, to making the audience see the white whale."
To support the production, Iron Age is posting a regular production blog. Actors, the directors, local experts on the issues of the play and the playwright will share their thoughts on the rehearsal process, the themes of the play and background for the production. This resource will enhance the audience's experience, "It is like a living talk back," said Director Doyle.
MOBY DICK - REHEARSED has a stellar group of actors creating a potent ensemble that brings the hunt for the mythic white whale to life. Anthony M. Giampetro plays the role of Ahab, the one legged Captain driven mad by his quest. Giampetro has appeared in many Iron Age plays as well as in theaters around Philadelphia. Luke Moyer plays Starbuck, the First Mate trying to save the ship and crew from Ahab. Adam Altman plays the narrator Ishmael who opens the novel and play with the famous line "Call me Ishmael."
Michelle Pauls, a noted Philadelphia actress and co-artistic director at Walking Fish Theatre plays Pip, and Ray Saraceni plays the stage manager, as well as the Reverend Mapple, the role Welles himself made famous in the 1957 film version of Moby Dick.
The cast is rounded out by Iron Age veterans Markus Zanders, David Fiebert, Chuck Beishl, Claire Golden Drake and Richard Bradford.
Working together, the Centre Theater and Iron Age Theatre have been one of the most critically acclaimed companies in the area for over fifteen years. The Philadelphia City Paper called the companies "The area's most under-appreciated professional theater." The companies have receivEd Barrymore Award nominations for a number of their productions including a Best New play nod for the world premier of the boxing comedy Molumby's Millions, and Ray Saraceni's Maroons.
The companies have premiered eight plays in the past two years including Citizen Paine, Waiting for the Ship from Delos, Philadelphia playwright Chris Braak's The Life of John Henry, and Red Emma, and Jeffrey Hatcher's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Centre Theater is in the Montgomery County Cultural Center at 208 DeKalb Street in Norristown. It is easily reached via routes 202, I-76, I-476 and Ridge Pike. There is plenty of free parking and the theater is one block from Septa's Norristown Transit Center on the Manayunk/Norristown line.