On the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, a six hundred pound recluse hides away in his apartment, and slowly eats himself to death. Desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter, he reaches out to her, only to find a viciously sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen.
Big-hearted and fiercely funny, The Whale tells the story of a man’s last chance at redemption, and of finding beauty in the most unexpected places.
This is a story of adolescence, religion, death, friendship, LGBT issues, and family.
Bill Ratliff, who portrays the six-hundred pound Charlie, said of the play, said “Audience members will cry during this show, I can almost guarantee that. I can also assure the audience that their discussion of the themes of the show will last long after the final curtain.”
Staci Grant admitted “When I heard the synopsis of the play from a colleague, i thought ‘It sounds depressing…why would anyone want to see that?’ Then I read it and it started coming to life for me. The playwright tackles some pretty heavy issues (pun intended) – obesity/body image, parenting, homosexuality, religion – it’s at times both incredibly difficult to watch and fascinating to watch. The characters are flawed and honest ans so relatable.’
Ratliff, who will don the custom suit to portray the main character admits, “The fat suit is a metaphor, but the use of a metaphor shouldn’t scare anyone away. The Whale is a profound story of love and joy and loss and sorrow told through the lives of simple, normal human beings.” Join The 5 & Dime for this beautiful production, continuing the mission to “Tell stories that engage, inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences, nurturing a rich artistic culture in Jacksonville’s Urban Core.”
Director: JUAN CARLOS UNZUETA
Assistant Director: JOSH WALLER
Stage Manager: ABIGAIL SAENZ
Set Design: TOM FALLON
Costume Design: LEE HAMBY
Graphic Design: KELBY SIDDONS