The Whale
by Samuel D. Hunter
directed by Martin Benson
March 10, 2013 - March 31, 2013

The WhaleCharlie is different from most of us.  First, he’s an online writing teacher with one friend, a nurse who nearly kills him with kindness, and one acquaintance, a troubled young missionary who’s determined to rescue his soul.  Second, he’s in bad health but refuses to be hospitalized.  And third, he weighs in at 600 pounds.  When his estranged daughter turns up suddenly, Charlie makes a deal to buy her time, if not her affections.  He hopes their connection will give her life—and his—meaning at last.

Previews: March 10-14, 2013
Opening Night: March 15, 2013
Regular Performances: March 16 – 31, 2013

Recommendation: This play contains adult language and situations and herbal cigarette smoking.

Running Time:  Approximately one hour and 50 minutes; there is no intermission.

Samuel D. Hunter has received numerous awards for his works. His plays include A Bright New Boise (2011 Obie Award for Playwriting, 2011 Drama Desk nomination for Best Play; original production by Partial Comfort Productions in NYC, second production at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company), The Whale (recently at Playwrights Horizons, upcoming at Victory Gardens, original production at the Denver Center), Jack’s Precious Moment (Page 73 Productions), Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb), A Permanent Image (commissioned and produced by Boise Contemporary Theater), Norway (Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis; Boise Contemporary Theater), and his newest plays, The Few and A Great Wilderness.  He has active commissions from MTC/Ars Nova, MTC/Sloan, LCT3, Seattle Repertory Theatre, SCR and Playwrights Horizons. His plays have been developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, PlayPenn, JAW West, Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Lark Playwrights Workshop, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, 24Seven Lab and elsewhere. Awards: 2012 Whiting Writers Award, 2013 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship. He is an ensemble playwright at Victory Gardens, a core member of the Playwrights Center, a member of Partial Comfort Productions, and is currently a Resident Playwright at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. A native of northern Idaho, Hunter lives in New York City. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, The Iowa Playwrights Workshop and Juilliard.
Matthew Arkin
Matthew Arkin (Charlie) previously appeared at SCR in The Prince of Atlantis and Our Mother’s Brief Affair. Broadway credits include Losing Louie, The Sunshine Boys and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Off-Broadway includes Dinner With Friends (Drama Desk nomination), Rounding Third, Indian Blood, War in Paramus, You Should Be So Lucky and Moonlight and Magnolias. Regional theatre credits include Surf Report at La Jolla Playhouse, The Scene at Hartford Stage, Sight Unseen at George Street Playhouse, Little Footsteps and Lost in Yonkers at Pennsylvania Stage Company, Around the World in 80 Days at The Cape Playhouse, A Thousand Clowns at American Stage Company, Two Rooms and True West at TheatreWorks and Talley’s Folly at Bay Street Theatre. Film and television credits include Margot at the Wedding, Second Best, Raising Flagg, Death to Smoochy, Bittersweet Place, An Unmarried Woman, The Curse, “Switched at Birth,” “Harry’s Law,” “Medium,” “Rescue Me” (recurring), all incarnations of “Law & Order,” “Ed,” “Third Watch,” “100 Centre Street” (recurring), “All My Children” (recurring) and “Simple Justice.” Arkin also teaches acting at SCR and in Los Angeles. For more information, visit

Jennifer Christopher
Jennifer Christopher (Mary) is thrilled to be making her SCR debut. She appeared most recently in the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s Foolish Heart, produced by The Car Plays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Other theatre credits include Anna in Burn This, Alice in Closer, Ophelia in Hamlet, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Young Mary Anne in The Kentucky Cycle (with the late Carrie Snodgress). Film and television credits include Argo, Family Jewels (Venice Film Festival 2009 and Sundance Film Festival 2010), Framily, A Coat of Snow, “Dexter,” “Scandal,” “House,” “Ringer,” “Prime Suspect,” “Criminal Minds” and “Lie to Me,” among others. She is a graduate of Los Angeles Theatre Academy.

Wyatt Fenner
Wyatt Fenner (Elder Thomas) has appeared at SCR previously in Misalliance, the Pacific Playwrights Festival readings of The Few and Happy Face, the NewSCRipts reading of Spirit Control and the Theatre for Young Audiences production of The Borrowers. Recent credits include performances at Geffen Playhouse, Ahmanson Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Folger Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, The Antaeus Company, Rorschach Theatre, Theatre @ Boston Court, Ensemble Theatre Company, Havok Theatre Company and A Noise Within, among many others. Television credits include “Veronica Mars” and “Bones.” He is a graduate of USC.

Blake Lindsley
Blake Lindsley (Liz) is pleased to return to SCR after appearing in Pig Farm, The Countess and Arcadia. Stage credits include Hippolytos (Getty Villa), The Ice-Breaker (Magic Theatre), Private Lives (Pasadena Playhouse), Enchanted April (The Cleveland Play House, Pasadena Playhouse), Hedda Gabler (Century Center/NYC, Boston Center for the Arts), Equus (Pasadena Playhouse) and The Rainmaker (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts). Television credits include “Leverage,” “Criminal Minds,” “Without a Trace,” “CSI,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Cold Case,” “Frasier,” “Mr. Sterling,” “Philly,” “NYPD Blue,” An American Daughter (Lifetime movie) and “JAG,” among others. Film credits include The Sessions, C.O.G., Snake and Mongoose, The Killer Inside Me, American Seagull, Coastlines, Mulholland Drive, Dogtown, Starship Troopers, Swingers, The Glimmer Man, Plain Dirty and Getting In. Lindsley is married to film prod

Helen Sadler
Helen Sadler (Ellie) is excited to be making her SCR debut. Recent theatre credits include Imogen in Cymbeline (A Noise Within); Radiance (Geffen Playhouse); Marianne Dashwood in the original cast of Sense and Sensibility, adapted and directed by Jon Jory (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and Northlight Theatre, Chicago); Claire in The Maids (Writers’ Theatre); Blasted (A Red Orchid Theatre); Buried Child, A Taste of Honey and Hyde in Hollywood (Shattered Globe Theatre); War (Seanachai); Chemin de Fer (Theater Wit); and A Christmas Carol and Marathon 33. Currently, she can be seen as Claudija Crane in HBO’s “True Blood.” Film credits include Contagion, Cass, Heavy, The Coldest Winter, Wednesday’s Child, Credits, Keen and Hush Your Mouth. Audio books include Word Of Promise and The New Adventures of Mike Hammer with Stacy Keach. She received her education and training at the University of Bristol and The Poor School, London.
Creative Team
Thomas Buderwitz - Scenic Design
Angela Balogh Calin - Costume Design
Donna & Tom Ruzika - Lighting Design
Michael Roth - Sound Design
Kevin Haney - Prosthetic Design & Supervision
Jennifer Ellen Butler - Stage Manager

Want to learn more about the cast & creative team of this production? Peek into our production program.

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Mary Beth Adderley and Elizabeth and Ryan Williams