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Moby Dick

Adapted and Directed by David Catlin
From the book by Herman Melville
A Co-Production with the Alliance Theatre and South Coast Repertory

November 18 — December 24, 2016
Kreeger Theater

Set sail on the holiday season's biggest adventure! Melville's classic tale of man's obsessive battle against nature comes to life in "a triumph of grand theatrical imagination, deep thought, superb acting and eye-popping, ingeniously deployed physical daring" (Chicago Sun-Times). Innovative staging fused with bold trapeze and acrobatic work turn this seafaring classic into a death-defying experiment in aerial storytelling. Climb aboard with Captain Ahab and the crew of the good ship Pequod in this harrowing and intoxicating quest for the great white whale.

Moby Dick is generously sponsored by Joan and David Maxwell. Additional support is provided by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

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KELLEY ABELL (Fate/Inkeeper & Others) makes her Arena Stage debut. Chicago credits include Moby Dick and Peter Pan (Lookingglass), 42nd Street and Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount Theatre), Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (Theater Wit), Dorian (House Theatre) and Bat Boy: The Musical and Titanic (Griffin Theatre). She has also worked with Goodman Theatre and Marriot Theatre and is a graduate of Northwestern University. Gratitude to Graham and the family.

JAMIE ABELSON (Ishmael) makes his Arena Stage debut. Recent theater credits include Moby Dick and Peter Pan (Lookingglass), Red Kite Blue Sky (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Northlight), Eurydice (Victory Gardens), Scenes from the Big Picture (Irish Theatre of Chicago), As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony), columbinus (Raven Theatre) and Hope Springs Infernal and Dorian (House Theatre). Jamie received his B.F.A. in drama from the Tisch School at NYU.

WALTER OWEN BRIGGS (Starbuck/Father Mapple/Dr. Bunger) makes his Arena Stage debut. Chicago credits include Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo and The North China Lover (Lookingglass), Hit The Wall (Steppenwolf), Sucker Punch (Victory Gardens), All Our Tragic (The Hypocrites) and The Glass Menagerie (Mary-Archie). He has worked regionally at American Repertory, The Getty Villa (Los Angeles), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Goodman Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. TV/film credits include Chicago Med, The West Wing, The Express, Jessica, Older Children, Ballad and A Good Person. Love to Chloe.

CORDELIA DEWDNEY (Fate/Crone & Others) makes her Arena Stage debut. A Chicago based actress, she received her degree in theater from Northwestern University and can be seen in a recent episode of Chicago Med. She is happy to be represented by Stewart Talent. Many thanks and much love to my mother, my family in Vermont and dear friends who have helped along the way.

CHRISTOPHER DONAHUE (Ahab) makes his Arena Stage debut. New York credits include Dogeaters, Measure for Measure (The Public/NYSF), The Notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci (Second Stage), Monster (Classic Stage Company, Obie Award) and Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square). He has appeared in many productions across the country. “But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still forever disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve around me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.”-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

MICAH FIGUEROA (Cabaco/Captain of New Bedford Whaling Ship) makes his Arena Stage debut. He is a Chicago-based actor, choreographer and director. Chicago credits include Moby Dick and Lookingglass Alice (Lookingglass), The Winter Pageant (Redmoon) and Distance to the Moon (First Floor Theater). Regional credits include The Farnsworth Invention and Wild Oats (Theatre Three), Coriolanus, Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth (Shakespeare Dallas), Titus Andronicus (Kitchen Dog Theater), Sense and Sensibility (Stolen Shakespeare) and In The Beginning and Henry IV (Dallas Theater Center). B.F.A, Southern Methodist University and the British American Drama Academy.

Anthony Fleming IIIANTHONY FLEMING III (Queequeg) makes his Arena Stage debut. Select theater credits include a national tour of Lookingglass Alice (McCarter, New Victory Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage); Clybourne Park (Arizona Theatre Company); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Milwaukee Repertory); Camino Real (Goodman); The Glass Menagerie (Steppenwolf); Denmark (Victory Gardens); and Fences (Court Theatre). TV/film credits include Chicago Fire (NBC); Prison Break (FOX); and Divergent (Summit). Anthony is an ensemble member with Lookingglass and received the 2015 Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Queequeg in Moby Dick.

KASEY FOSTER (Fate/Widow & Others) makes her Arena Stage debut. She has been performing, singing, directing and producing in Chicago since 2004. She has worked with Chicago-based theater companies including Lookingglass, Manual Cinema, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Blair Thomas & Co., Redmoon, Dog & Pony, Trap Door, Theater Wit, Red Tape, Oracle and Collaboraction. Kasey sings with Chicago bands Grood, Babe-alon 5, Old Timey and This Must be the Band. She has directed/choreographed over 30 original works and produces an annual series called Dance Tribute. Foster was most recently seen in Mary Zimmerman’s Treasure Island (Berkeley Repertory). Thanks to all for supporting the arts! They make everything better.

RAYMOND FOX (Stubb/Captain Boomer/Captain Gardiner) returns to Arena Stage, where he previously appeared in Metamorphoses, a play he performed as part of the original Broadway (Circle in the Square) and Off-Broadway (Second Stage) casts and numerous productions elsewhere. His notable regional credits include Simon Craig in Blood and Gifts (TimeLine Theatre, 2013 Equity Jeff Award, Supporting Actor, Play), Prince Hal in Henry IV (Court Theatre) and Valentine Coverly in Arcadia (Meadow Brook Theatre). Raymond is an ensemble member of Chicago’s Lookingglass where he co-adapted The Old Curiosity Shop with Laura Eason and Heidi Stillman (shared 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award, New Adaptation). Raymond was a member of the Young Company of the Stratford Festival (Ontario) in 1996. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University.

Javen UiambayarJAVEN ULAMBAYAR (Mungun) makes his Arena Stage debut. His circus career has given him the opportunity to work with companies including Lookingglass, The Actors Gymnasium and Midnight Circus. He attained his skills in variety of performing acts at Juventas circus school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tumbling, teeterboard, acro and Russian bar are among the skills he attained, but above all, he specializes in aerial straps and Chinese pole, performing with male and female partners. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012, with a degree in kinesiology with emphasis on clinical movement and science.

ADEOYE (u/s Queequeg/Mungun) makes his Arena Stage debut. Chicago credits include Lookingglass Alice, The Little Prince, Peter Pan, Icarus and Black Diamond (Lookingglass), The Magnificents (House Theatre), The Unmentionables (Steppenwolf) and The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens). Regional credits include Lookingglass Alice (Denver Center), A Raisin in the Sun (The Guthrie/Penumbra Theatre) and Intimate Apparel (Clarence Brown Theatre). TV credits include Detroit 1-8-7, Leverage and Prison Break. Film credits include #Vengeance is Mine and Chicago Overcoat. He earned his M.F.A. at The Academy for Classical Acting with Shakespeare Theatre Company/George Washington University. Love and gratitude to his family.

CHRIS MATHEWS (u/s Ahab/Ishmael/Stubb/Starbuck/Cabaco) makes his Arena Stage debut. He is a company member with House Theatre of Chicago, where he regularly writes and performs. With Nathan Allen and Jake Minton, he co-wrote The Sparrow (Jeff Award, New Work) and Rose and the Rime. With Allen, he co-wrote The Hammer Trinity (House Theatre and the Adrienne Arsht Center). He has also written and directed original circus theater plays for family-friendly audiences at The Actors Gymnasium. As an actor, he has performed with House Theatre, Lookingglass and The Actors Gymnasium, among others. Chris provides motion capture performance for video game maker Netherrealm Studios, having been featured in the “Mortal Kombat” franchise titles (Johnny Cage) and “Injustice: Gods Among Us” (Batman). Thanks for hosting us, come visit us in Chicago!


DAVID CATLIN (Adaptor, Director) is a founding ensemble member of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, the recipient of the 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Regional directing/writing credits include Lookingglass Alice at Lookingglass Theatre, McCarter Theatre, New Victory Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage (SALT Award, Production), Alliance Theatre (Suzi Bass Award, Best Ensemble), Adrienne Arsht Center and Denver Center and Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre (four Jeff Awards including Production, Large, and nominations for direction and adaptation) and Alliance Theatre. Additional Lookingglass credits include The Little Prince, Icarus, The Idiot (Jeff Award, Adaptation), Black Diamond (co-direction), Kafka’s Metamorphosis, The Master and Margarita (co-direction) and West. David teaches theater at Northwestern University.

SYLVIA HERNANDEZ-DiSTASI (Aerial/Acrobatic Choreography) has been an artistic associate at Lookingglass since 1999, winning three of her four Joseph Jefferson Awards for choreography with the company. Lookingglass credits include Baron in The Trees (Jeff Award), Hard Times (Jeff Award), Lookingglass Alice (Jeff Award), Icarus (Jeff nomination) and Moby Dick (Jeff Award, Best Production). Other theater credits include All Night Strut (Marriott Theatre, Jeff Award,) Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, among others. Sylvia is a recipient of the 2014 3Arts Award for Design and the Illinois Theatre Associations 2015 Award of Honor for Outstanding Contributions. She was last seen performing on stage in Marney and Phil: A Circus Love Letter (The Actors Gymnasium).

COURTNEY O’NEILL (Set Designer)’s design credits include Moby Dick and The Little Prince (Lookingglass); Julius Caesar (Writers Theatre); The Burials, Life and Limb, The Compass and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf); Waiting for Godot (Court Theatre); The Amish Project and Song Man Dance Man (Milwaukee Repertory); Fetch Clay Make Man (Marin Theatre and Round House); When I Come to Die (Kansas City Repertory); The Mountaintop (Virginia Stage); Our Town, Oedipus, The Bald Soprano and Mud (The Hypocrites); and Good for Otto, Bethany and Dirty (The Gift Theatre); among others. She was the associate designer for Fish in the Dark and This is our Youth on Broadway. Courtney received a Jeff Award for Mud. She holds an M.F.A. from Northwestern and a B.F.A. from DePaul University, and currently teaches at both institutions.

SULLY RATKE (Costume Designer) is grateful to be a part of such an inspiring project. She is a recent graduate from the stage design M.F.A. program at Northwestern University, with a fascination for all peoples and an intuition for connecting them, particularly through their common use of symbols, rituals and spiritual ideas. She has been lucky to work with some fantastic theater companies in Chicago, including Steppenwolf, Drury Lane, Lookingglass, Griffin Theatre, Northwestern University, Chicago Fringe Opera, The Gift Theatre and Two Pence Theatre Company. Gratitude to David and the team for including her in this great work. Enjoy the show!

WILLIAM C. KIRKHAM (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be setting sail with Moby Dick at Arena Stage. Recent credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Portland Center Stage); Julius Caesar and Murder for Two (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Moby Dick and The Little Prince (Lookingglass, 2014 Jeff Award, Lighting Design); Life and Limb (Steppenwolf); United Flight 232 (House Theatre); Stupid F-king Bird and Antigonick (Sideshow Theatre); Three Sisters and The Tennessee Williams Project (The Hypocrites); Gidion’s Knot and From Prague (Contemporary American Theater Festival); Wonderful Life (ArtsWest Playhouse); Bud, Not Buddy and A Year with Frog and Toad (Chicago Children’s Theatre); and Pete, the Return of Peter Pan and Girls Who Wear Glasses (Childsplay). William earned his M.F.A. in stage design at Northwestern University and is a proud member of USA Local 829.

RICK SIMS (Sound Designer & Original Music) has composed and designed sound for numerous Chicago-area theaters, including Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Congo Square, Writers Theatre, Lifeline, Griffin Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Hypocrites, House Theatre, Court Theatre, ATC, Victory Gardens, The Raven, Steep, Northlight and About Face. Additional credits include The Getty, Boston Playwrights, Arden Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Portland Playhouse. Rick won a Jeff Award for sound design for Moby Dick and Hepheastus (Lookingglass) and BTAA award for Brothers In the Dust (Congo Square),and has received several nominations for both awards. He is an artistic associate of Lookingglass, artistic affiliate with American Blues Theatre and associate designer with Aria Music Designs (Ray Nardelli and Josh Horvath). Rick also wrote the book, music and lyrics for Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass).

ISAAC SCHOEPP (Rigging Designer)’s rigging design credits include Moby Dick (Lookingglass, Alliance Theatre) and Marnie and Phil: A Circus Love Letter, Circuscope and Magical Exploding Boy (The Actors Gymnasium). He serves as rigging designer for next spring’s The Year I Didn’t Go to School (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Assistant rigging design to Lee Brasuell includes Lookingglass Alice, The Little Prince and Peter Pan: A Play (Lookingglass) and Cascabel (Goodman, Lookingglass). Performer rigging for The Little Mermaid (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and Home of the Brave (Merrimack Repertory Theatre). He received the 2015 Jeff Award for Artistic Specialization for his rigging design for Moby Dick. He also coordinates the Christ College Freshman Drama Workshop at Valparaiso University, where he received his B.A. in theater and humanities. Much love to Claire.

KATHY LOGELIN (Dialect Coach) is happy to return to coach Moby Dick, having previously coached the 2015 Lookingglass production. Other coaching credits include Treasure Island (Lookingglass), Spinning and Little World of Our Own (Irish Theatre of Chicago), The Mutilated (A Red Orchid Theatre), All the Way (TheatreSquared), Pygmalion (Oak Park Festival Theatre) and Persuasion (Chamber Opera Chicago at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Kathy holds a B.S. in acting from Illinois State University and is a company member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble.

MARY HUNGERFORD (Stage Manager) is honored to return to The Pequod with this amazing group of artists after working on the original production at Lookingglass in 2015. Other Lookingglass credits include Blood Wedding, Treasure Island, Lookingglass Alice and Ethan Frome. In Chicago, she has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf, TimeLine Theatre and Writers Theatre. Most recently, she collaborated with the Globe Theatre’s international touring production of The Merchant of Venice during their run at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Mary is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and an alumna of Northwestern University. Endless thanks to Jeff and Kelley.

MARNE ANDERSON (Assistant Stage Manager)’s Arena Stage credits include All the Way, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, King Hedley II, Five Guys Named Moe, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Mountaintop, Metamorphoses, The Arabian Nights and Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. Additional D.C. credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Folger Theatre); Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2 (Round House); and You for Me for You and Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play (Woolly Mammoth). She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. She is thankful to her family for all their love and support.


Moby Dick – Coming to Arena Stage

Moby Dick and The Actors Gymnasium

The Fates of Moby Dick

Photo Gallery


Moby Dick: From Classic Novel to Novel Play
Sunday, December 11, 2016 5:00 p.m.
Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, originally published in 1851, is widely considered one of the hallmarks of great American literature. Now, 165 years later, this story comes to us in a bold new production. How does this new staging relate to the original text? How does this production both remain true to – and deviate from – the original source? Melville scholars and local artists join in a discussion about the original novel and telling this beloved story in a daring new way onstage.

Post-Show Discussions
November 30 at 12:00 p.m.
December 14 at 12:00 p.m.
December 20 at 12:00 p.m.
December 20 at 7:30 p.m.
December 22 at 8:00 p.m.


Audio Described

Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Open Captioned

Wednesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Moby Dick runs approximately two hours and 15 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. This production uses special effects including haze and strobe lighting.

Moby Dick illustration by Ricardo Martinez.