Read an interview with Mike Gorman by Martin Denton here
The Honor and Glory of Whaling is the second play in a trilogy of plays that deal with the issue of addiction and recovery in the commercial fishing industry, inspired by the death of the playwright’s oldest brother (a commercial fisherman) to a heroin overdose. The Honor and Glory of Whaling is an epic tale that follows the fate of legendary New England fishing captain Robby Foerster and his boat “The Northern Star”. In a community sorely in need of something to be proud of, stories of his reckless courage are a source of pride. After a fatal first encounter with heroin, the “Great White Whale” of the modern fishing community, Robby falls deeply into addiction. The Honor and Glory of Whaling explores the role of myth and storytelling as both a sustaining and destructive force in a Northeast coastal fishing community, engaging the audience in a dramatic critical debate as to what extent tragedy, held to be inherent in the fishing community, might be avoidable.
The play will be preceded by a 20-minute documentary film with a mythical, literary soul drawn from the spirit of Moby Dick. The film captures the experience of producing and performing Michael Gorman’s first play of the trilogy, UltraLight, dubbed “A beautiful, moving play about his brother” by The Boston Phoenix. Audience members are invited to participate post-show in an ongoing documentary with their own stories and comments.
The play is co-directed by David Bennett and Michael Gorman, staged by La MaMa resident director, George Ferencz, with an original score by flutist Tonya “Tbird Luv” Ridgely. Post-show Q&A’s will follow select performances. Playwright Israel Horovitz will take part in the opening night panel discussion on Fri. Dec. 28. Additional Q&A’s will feature members from the recovery, addiction, theater and law enforcement communities.
The cast includes David Bennett, David Branch, Ruth Coughlin, J.P. Guimont, Al Joyce, Michael Kimball and Anita Menotti. The design team consists of Obie-Winner Tim Schellenbaum (Sound Design), Carla Bosnjak (Lighting Design), Sarah Boyden (Costume Design) and Marguerite White (Set Design & Installation). Additional musicians include Evan Fraser and Pete List.
The Forty Hour Club’s mission is to create a social and political forum around art through the integration of community commitment and discussion.