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the artwork of Rockwell Kent will be a major source of inspiration

Claude Debussy pictured right; all the music is from the his orchestral works; like The Overcoat, the story will be told entirely through movement

We are taking the idea of multiple ladders and running with it; we need to make the maximum visual impact with the minimum of set since the production will be in three quarter, in other words with audience on three sides of the action; prelim sketches show how we can take a simple idea and expand on it

a very early, very preliminary model of the set, with a ladder in the foreground, a large piece of canvas representing a sail on which light and effects can be reflected, and the whalebone backdrop

In our December workshop in Toronto we explored all kinds of ladders but ended up using a kind of two sided orchard ladder.

the back of the set will be a kind of wooden slatted barn door, meant to represent a whaling ship interior, but also to evoke the idea of whale bones

Morris was originally inspired by the Debussy work La Mer; and has always imagined it as a sea adventure; when Don Shipley from the Stratford Festival approached him about working on a project, this one immediately came to mind

Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick in 1851. Morris,s grandfather was born three years earlier, and grew up in Connecticut, not far from New Bedford.

the whaling ship Essex, which inspired Melville to write his novel, was rammed twice and sunk by a Sperm Whale in 1820

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me/excerpted from Chapter One of Moby Dick; you can read the whole novel online at then again can always buy the book; Ken has the Modern Library Classics version, which includes all the Rockwell Kent illustrations.

It is hard to imagine not using at least some of the beautiful text from this novel in some way; one idea is to have voice over narration, which would match the style and size of the movement and the music.

The two legged yet multi talented David Ferry plays our notorious Captain Ahab

Toronto actor and Calgary native Shaun Smyth is Ismael

La Mer marked its 100th anniversary in 2005

It all happens at the Studio Theatre, around the corner from the Avon

Rose Compass detailings for stage floor pattern; decorative, but with a purpose.  The actors will be able to line themselves up, as they did in The Overcoat, according to the floor pattern.

Listen to an except from the Moby score; this particular music covers the search for the whale until appearance at the end of act one

Wendy Gorling, co-creator of The Overcoat, will join us to associate direct; as usual, she brings her movement expertise, her wit, and her strong artistic discipline into play. Wendy trained in Paris at Le Coq school.

Peter Anderson and Colin Heath in The Overcoat

assistant Ken MacKenzie set model, shown from different angles. Once this is approved by the production managers then they will proceed with building. Lining up shows to be built by such an organization as Stratford or Shaw is a logistical nightmare. Sets are built sooner rather than later; sometimes well before rehearsal begins

Dana Osborne is our costume designer for the show. Luckily for us, she has worked at Stratford and knows some of the ins and outs of the costume department, but more importantly, she is resourceful, imaginative and a real collaborator.