First Act: Moby Dick - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

First Act: Moby Dick

WILMINGTON -- When bringing a story to life on stage, it takes more than a good plot and talented actors. Without a set, it's just people in a dark room. But what if that is the stage, just concrete floors and black walls? The cast of Moby Dick: Rehearsed, opening at Thalian Hall's studio theater, says that's no problem.

"Because it's a big empty room with a grid on it, you can put anything anywhere. It's very flexible," says Director Robb Mann.

The show uses minimal set pieces to tell the tale of the larger than life whale. It's a visually effective design, but challenges do come with working in this space.

"There's a lot of limitations. It's a black box. You can't screw into the floor. You can't screw into the wall. Everything has to be free-standing," says set designer Steve Bakunas.

The studio theater can seem like a small space once you fill the room with the chairs for the audience and the set pieces, but with a little creativity set designers can make it look huge. The blank slate can transform into an old living room, a two story house, anything imaginable.

You won't see that in Moby Dick: Rehearsed though. The lavish set pieces are replaced by moving platforms and ropes. But for Captain Ahab, Queequeg and the rest of Herman Melville's gang, methinks it's good enough for them.

If you'd like to see Moby Dick: Rehearsed the show dates are October 12-15 and 19-22. All shows are at 8:00pm, except Sunday matinees which are at 3:00pm.

There is also a fundraiser for Big Dawg Productions, the company staging the show, on Thursday, October 12. It's a wine-tasting at Bijou Restaurant in downtown Wilmington at 6:00pm. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door.

Reported by Heather Setzler

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