The Whale... so, is this Moby Dick?

Not at all.
Ok, maybe a little...
But mostly no.
It's about a really big guy in Idaho, his best friend, his willful daughter and her mom, and a renegade Mormon kid. It's still a tragedy, but one of the funny ones. Modern, daring, and absolutely beautiful. And you don't need to read Moby Dick.
Although that giant tome of whaling might help you catch some resonant themes that echo between both pieces. But at over 600 pages, you'll have to start reading it soon! Instead, to help you look like the smart kid, here's a quick summary of relevant themes:

Death. Friendship. Religion. Defiance. The limits of knowledge. The deceptiveness of Fate and Free Will. Sexuality and sexual identity. Single minded purpose. 
In the sea, a whale cannot be viewed all at once. It is only seen in pieces. The head, the back, the fins, the tail. And it is this multiplicity of meanings and perceptions that Ishmael struggles with as he tries to understand the essence of a whale, beyond being simple beast. 
Is the Whale a scapegoat for our fears and rage at life? A manifestation of the worst elements of the world? Worthy of eradication? Capable of salvation? Or is it a mere creature, doing what it knows, when it's suddenly caught in the spin of a larger story?

There, you're set. And if you absolutely must give Moby Dick a quick skim, take a look at chapters 1 & 9. That'll get you pretty far. Plus... it's a pretty good read.

Production History

Walking Shadow Theatre Company

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